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Comment from: David Dwyer [Visitor]
David Dwyer

Reading your piece Mark reminds of the start of Ivan Illich’s book Deschooling Society. Although he was writing some time ago, in the early 1970’s, his words still resonate for me. They also make me realise that not much has changed over the last 40 years despite all the good work done by educationalists. Illich’s broadening of debate into wider society based upon the education we have received identifies issues that concern many at present.

The extract I mean is:

“Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.”

Perhaps the horticultural approach is the one we need.

Ivan Illich’s book can be dowloaded from :

25/01/13 @ 10:57
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