Tibetan Star has a fascinating post on the education of Spartan children in which she shows that this education was clearly intended to produce conformity in the population. She also shows how this model has influenced subsequent thinking on the education of children.
Talking of which, my old school magazine has just plopped onto the door mat. On the cover it shows 15 girls all seated in three neat rows of five, in exactly the same clothes, with exactly the same closed book on their laps. Almost all of them have their hands crossed over the book, though one has the temerity to be scratching her nose. They all (without exception) have exactly the same length hair, bunched in a neat pony tail. The hair colour does differ, but is uniformally natural.
Just how personalised can this form of education really hope to be?
Isn't it time that everyone (not just home educators) asked themselves if this really is an acceptable and efficient model of learning? Afterall, the human race has tolerated the slave trade for most of human history. It is only relatively recently that it has been regarded as evil and attempts have been made to eliminate it. I don't think the analogy is necessarily a very loose one, btw.