Friday, August 25, 2006

The case for homeschooling

Today, I lamented over just how little I learned in high school. History, government, science, economics, whoops, all down the drain. Despite AP/Honors curriculum. Does anyone feel the same? After doing some searches, I found some compelling arguments for the intellectually- dead conditions of our schooling system. Some of it overlaps with what I learned in Soc of Ed last semester, mainly that the main purpose of schooling is not to educate, but to indoctrinate.

A high school valedictorian's graduation speech takes a surprising turn as he lambastes the public education system for its cookie- cutter, thought- suppressing pedagogy. As he says, "the spirit of intellectual thought is lost."

Points from Everett Reimer’s School is Dead: Alternatives in Education, An Indictment of the system and a Strategy of Revolution.

He writes that institutionalized school fulfills four distinct functions:

  1. Custodial care: this is where most of the school budget goes - child care
  2. Social-role selection: the sorting of the young into social slots they will occupy in adult life
  3. Indoctrination: children learn conformity, hierarchy, and dependency on others for learning what is deemed important
  4. Education as defined in terms of the development of skills and knowledge: The real question, writes Reimer, is whether children can’t learn more/better on their own outside of compulsory schooling. “People forget that there were educated men (sic) before there were schools…” (92)

Reimer calls school an “institutional prop for privilege”. School creates a hierarchy of privilege; the education system is the indoctrination of youth into a technological, capitalist system.

Quotes from Nobel prize winners who denounce public schooling.

Question is, before long, why were most of us, the students, already uninterested in learning? We hardly even wonder, question, ponder, or seek truth. Ignorance is a highly effective form of social control, then.

1 comment:

anish said...

came here googling school is dead everett reimer. nice post! i love this book but i was unable to summarize anything that he says - because there was SO MUCH in it. tried to start a wikipedia page
but lost initiative. Can you please contribute?