Education? There’s no such thing.

“Education? There’s no such thing.

It’s a pleasant synonym for the indoctrination of children towards our own ends. Education is what happens when we raise kids because we want things from them. Learning is what happens when we raise kids because we want to give them something – the world.

How do we do that? What does it look like? What is our job if we want to give children the world, rather than use them for it? It’s very simple.

To give children the world, you love them, and protect them, no matter what, and you let them find their own way. Love them. Protect them. Listen to them. Empower them.”

From an excellent post found at Educoup.com

Homeschooling is a great option, but for many it isn’t even on the table. I really don’t feel public education as it is right now is sufficient for the world we live in and the world our children are growing up in. We need to rework the system from the ground up and start anew.

The last couple of days, I keep coming across the Sudbury Valley School, a democratic alternative school. While a tuition-based private school, why can’t the principles of this school be applied to some of the charter schools? A mini-reform of sorts.

“At Sudbury Valley School, students from preschool through high school age explore the world freely, at their own pace and in their own unique ways. They learn to think for themselves, and learn to use Information Age tools to unearth the knowledge they need from multiple sources. They develop the ability to make clear logical arguments, and deal with complex ethical issues. Through self-initiated activities, they pick up the basics; as they direct their lives, they take responsibility for outcomes, set priorities, allocate resources, and work with others in a vibrant community.”

In a recent article about democratic schools,

“In Massachusetts farm country, not far from Boston, a group of about 200 students of all ages are part of a radical experiment. These students don’t take any classes they don’t specifically ask to have taught. They can spend their time doing whatever they want, as long as it’s not destructive or criminal — reading, playing video games, cooking, making art. There are 11 adults, called “staff members”; no one technically holds the title of “teacher.” The kids establish rules and mete out punishments by a democratic process whereby each member of the community has one vote — which means the adults are “outnumbered” by the kids almost 20 to one. Unlike at most private schools, students are admitted without regard to their academic records.”

Part of the premise of democratic schools is to trust the children no matter what their age to make decisions about their environment and learning and the rules that govern all of that. Can you trust your children to learn as they see fit?

“Learning … has always existed and been pivotal to the survival and progress of the human race. Learning is not optional or institutional, and it will take place in any environment, from the bleakest to the brightest, no matter what. For example, in many of our schools now, in spite of the oppressive atmosphere, students manage to learn that their opinions and interests are not valued, that they are subordinate to their teachers, that they must sit down, shut up and do as their told, or suffer ridicule and punishment. These are just a few of the lessons that are compulsory in our backward curriculums. In a moment you will have the option of watching a video demonstrating a school that fosters learning, with no ‘education’ necessary to the process.”

Check out the full post here.

Another aspect of democratic schools is their lack of structure which may prove to be a challenge for many parents, including myself.

“Many agree that the generation of Americans now in their teens and 20s had some of the most over-supervised and over-structured childhoods in U.S. history. It will be interesting to see whether these trends will continue, or whether these next-generation parents react to their own disciplined upbringings by becoming more hands-off. If they grow to resent the way they were raised, democratic schools may come to look like a pretty appealing option for their own children.”

Here is the full article that was published in the Atlantic. Would you send your children to democratic schools?

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~ by Omaira on December 17, 2012.

4 Responses to “Education? There’s no such thing.”

  1. Thanks for the reblog Omaira! I’m working on a few things both for college and EduCoup at the moment but the blog will have more content up soon. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I’m looking forward to the new posts. I enjoy reading your perspectives and thought-provoking pieces. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Educoup’s post was reblogged by Omaira at Black Board, White Chalk!

  3. Nice article, always good to get Sudbury schools our in the limelight. To me this method of schooling is the Libertarian method… not to say that one must support libertarian policies (that’s sort of an oxymoron) but just saying that the central ideal of freedom is reminiscent.

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