Notes on “Deschooling Society”

This book is based on this thought: Religions without the supernatural and religions without gods, but none which does not subdivide the world into things and times and persons that are sacred and others that as a consequence are profane. Therefore, we have no right to decide what kind of knowledge is useful nor who have the right to educate nor who have the right to be educated.

The defects of modern schools

School constantly indoctrinate groups of beliefs to us: There are secrets everywhere; If we live a happy life depend on if we understand those secretes; If you want to understand those secrets you have to follow one pre-designed long-lasting procedure; Only teachers can reveal secrets properly. Try another one: Children belong to schools; Children learn in schools; Schools are the only place for children to learn.

There’s one thing that the modern school system is extremely good at: keep this society stable. So the poor are robbed of their self-respect by subscribing to a creed that grants salvation only through school. At least the Church gave them a chance to repent at the hour of death. The school leaves them with the expectation (a counterfeit hope) that their grandchildren will make it.

Latent functions performed by modern school systems are complicated: custodial care, selection, indoctrination and learning. Schools try to perform all those functions but result in failures in most of those aspects. (We did a really good job on indoctrination)

We are not saying that all those aspects can’t be accomplished by one agency but the design of the existing agency is not proper anymore.

1. Custodial Care

Let’s put it in an easy way: Children are not happy at school. Parents spend tons of money on schooling while getting a little outcome. The very only reason they choose a school is that there are no other options.

2. Selection

In modern school systems, the selection is based on diplomas instead of ability. The outcome of this mismatch is schools become a tool of Social Reproduction.

3. Learning

There are three kinds of learning: skill-learning, education for inventive and creative behaviour and purpose-learning. All of them can be aided by institutional arrangement but they are of a different, frequently opposed nature.

Without skill-learning, we have no tool to conduct any plans. Poor education for inventive and creative behaviour stops us from moving forward. The lack of purpose-learning makes us cunning egoists.

Unfortunately, in modern China, we do a fairly good job in skill-learning while the latter two are extremely poorly done.

Renaissance

The field of education needs a Renaissance.

School is not a cure for poverty. Learning is. We believe that attending schools makes us successful. Wrong. Master the ability to learn makes us successful. Schooling is very much like dieting:

Alice: “I’m dieting.”

Bob: “Are you losing any weight?”

Alice: “No.”

We have to realize that the key is not about teaching but learning. It’s a positive action.

What we can do is to provide a proper environment for anyone who wants to learn.

China

School in China tend to serve just one purpose: to promise Social Mobility, a special kind of selection, to the public. It keeps society stable, which is good. As China growing we need more creative talents to push science forward. We need more leaders with a purpose to solve social problems. While our educating system is doing such a terrible job in helping those two kinds of man.

On the other hand, China has so many people but so few educating resources. Raising funds helps. But the very only fundamental solution is to take away the privilege of teaching from schools. This is the only way to bring equal right to learn to everyone.

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