The Ivan Illich Learning Webs Scoring System

This scoring system will analyze three contemporary “Learning Webs” in reference to Illich’s “Deschooling Society.
The three contemporary “Learning Webs” include:

Illich proposed in “Deschooling Society” that “what was needed were networks, readily available to the public and designed to spread equal opportunity for learning and teaching.” This scoring system will analyze three contemporary “Learning Webs” using the networks that Illich recommended in “Deschooling Society.”
The networks include:

  • Network 1: Reference services to educational objects – which facilitate access to things or processes used for formal learning. Some of these things can be reserved for this purpose, stored in libraries, rental agencies, laboratories and showrooms like museums and theatres; others can be in daily use in factories, airports or on farms, but made available to students as apprentices or on off-hours.
  • Network 2: Skill exchanges – which permit persons to list their skills, the conditions under which they are willing to serve as models for others who want to learn these skills, and the addresses at which they can be reached.
  • Network 3: Peer-matching – which is a communications network which permits persons to describe the learning activity in which they wish to engage, in the hope of finding a partner for the inquiry.
  • Network 4: Reference services to educators-at-large – which can be listed in a directory giving the addresses and self-descriptions of professionals, paraprofessionals and freelances, along with conditions of access to their services. Such educators… could be chosen by polling or consulting their former clients.

This scoring system will assign a score of a one, a two, or a three to the three contemporary “Learning Webs” in reference to Illich’s “Deschooling Society.” The score is dependent upon whether the contemporary “Learning Web” fulfills the respective network’s definition, attempts to fulfill the respective network’s definition, or does not fulfill the respective network’s definition. In order to fulfill the respective network’s definition, the contemporary “Learning Webs” must meet the key components of each network.
The scoring system includes:

  • 1 = The learning web does not fulfill the network.
  • 2 = The learning web attempts to fulfill the network.
  • 3 = The learning web fulfills the network.

The scoring system also includes:

  • Check mark symbol       = Meets the key component.
  • X symbol/Check mark symbol = Attempts to meet the key component.
  • X symbol       = Does not meet the key component.

Note: This scoring system would not have gained the approval of Illich due to its radiation of institutionalization. This radiation is derived from the use of benchmarks, guidelines, rules, and regulations. These components go hand in hand with the structure of our society. Our society is based upon a political, economic, and educational structure. Illich believed that our society would be better off without these structures. In fact, deinstitutionalization was an idea that Illich spent most of his life fighting for. He believed that our society had conditioned to a “schooled mind.” He believed that “an individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tags.” He acknowledged our society but was not willing to accept the future for our society. He envisioned a society where “new educational institutions would break apart the pyramid. Their purpose would be to facilitate access for the learner: to allow him to look into the windows of the control room or the parliament, if he cannot get in through the door.” Today, Illich’s vision of these new educational institutions may have come true.

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