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  • A Life Without Schooling, Not Possible.

    Posted on March 26th, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    It is generally accepted that the schooling system we have today is corrupt.  The purpose of schooling is no longer centered around gaining knowledge.  With such widespread dissatisfaction, one would think that something could be done.  However, it is hard to imagine what this something could be.  Ivan Illich’s “Learning Webs” from Deschooling Society helps to outline what he thinks this something could be.  More importantly, it outlines some of the major problems with schooling in our society.

    Ivan Illich states that “a good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and, finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known.” He says that “what are needed are new networks, readily available to the public and designed to spread equal opportunity for learning and teaching.”

    Though I think approach is a great idea, I feel that it is extremely unrealistic.  Even if students had access to all of these networks, society has conditioned students to do the least amount work possible for the best grade possible.  In theory, “someone who wants to learn knows that he needs both information and critical response to its use from somebody else.”  This condition is idea.  Unfortunately, this is not the case. Currently our  condition would be extremely hard to reverse.  In order to reverse it, the generation undergoing the deschooling could not be exposed to the behavior of the generation before them.  With this said, I believe Ivan Illich’s theory is great in theory but impossible to attain.



    4 responses to “A Life Without Schooling, Not Possible.” RSS icon

    • I came to a similar conclusion during my reading. However, I saw similarity between the internet and the three purposes of his education system. I wonder if instead of a complete switch from one model to the other (impossible), the backchannel of self-directed learning on the internet may gradually change things (probable?). I still think that the ideal of his proposal is not practical or covers the different needs of society, however, education would benefit from the adoption of some of these proposals.

    • I’m afraid I have come to the same conclusion as well. I think the theory is great and if a system like he suggests could really be implemented and ingrained in our society, education would take on a whole new role. But I just don’t know if I think it is really possible.. at all. We are so focused on getting good grades. That is the focus of our education, not the learning itself. But if that is the way society has programmed, its not logical that we, as students, would be able to do away with schooling and grades all together. It would be great if we could be completely self-motivated to learn, but unfortunately or many of us we are mostly motivated by grades and with that our idea of “success”.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels the same way. Sometimes a radical approach is needed to solve a problem. Sometimes things are so bad we need a revolution. I think the real question to think about is that: Is the current school system really so beyond help that we need to discard everything and start from scratch, sprinting in an opposite direction?

    • Me three. It’s just impossible to imagine a society that is so accustomed to the way things are to be able to make a large change like this. There would be a lot of chaos and I feel that our status as a developed nation would even be put at risk. This system would need an unbiased group of “pedagogues” and students, and by this I mean groups who have not been exposed to our current education system

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