Monday, July 06, 2009

Denormalising School


I hope I can get away with quoting a comment from the Libertarian Alliance. It is too good to miss.

"The answer is simple, David. There is only one weakness in their fortress, and it is only a slight weakness, but this is the weakness we must exploit. Education.

Every belief system requires control of education. Every authoritarian religion knows this. Every political movement knows this. If we are to triumph, we must take their schools away from them- or rather, take the children away from the schools.

Our task then is to discredit schooling. Not to campaign for better schools, or for private schools, or for vouchers or other wealth transfers. We must fight for no schools. To do this, we must fight for real education; that is, the separation of the concept of intellectual development of inviduals from the system of factory schooling.

Our task is to denormalise schools. Our task is to turn schooling into a thing of horror, like child labour; we must seek a state in the future where people will discuss their forebears forced into schools as they now discuss infants forced up chimneys and down coalmines.

Home education, unschooling, self directed learning, individual development. Private tutelage, community tutelage, voluntary learning.

These are our levers. Think of the children they say, using the children as a crowbar. Well, the children must become our crowbar; but whereas our enemies destroy children, we seek to free them. Where our enemies seek to smother them, we must fight for their right to breathe freely.

Down with skool. That is how the evil will end."

The commentor elaborates in a post here .

Ah, if only Zenna Atkins, the Chair of Ofsted who is clearly disillusioned with what's on offer in schools currently, would talk to him and home educators generally. We could tell her a thing or two about real education!



Great poster, courtesy of Soaring


14 comments:

Maire said...

The cats blog post and the article about Zenna Atkins are really encouraging, it seems the tide is turning.

Anonymous said...

But Zenna still sends her son to school even though she knows how boring and irrelevant it is for most pupils and even though he is in trouble a lot of the time.

D

Anonymous said...

But Zenna still sends her son to school even though she knows how boring and irrelevant it is for most pupils and even though he is in trouble a lot of the time.

She is so busy telling other people what to do with their children that she cannot be a good mother to her own child.

If everyone just minded their own business, many of our problems would disappear.

elizabeth said...

The Zenna Atkins story is proof that teachers lack respect for parents no matter what their obvious expertise is. They cannot see it might be the school system that causes the problem, they must blame the parents or the children.

I had experience of being a professional who advised teachers and was indeed taken seriously as such. When I sent my own child to school and became a parent I had a rude awakening. In no way way was I seen as having any superior knowledge or expertise on my own child, I was I parent, I was not an expert, what did I know?

Only enough then to realise I needed to take my child and run from school back to the real world where we could find a decent undamaging education.

Anonymous said...

I home educate my children and work in a school in a deprived area.

Many children in my school have difficult home lives. They are queuing at the gate to get in. At school they get listened to, cared for and fed. Which is more than some of them get at home.

Home education by a caring loving family is always better than school in my view but not all children have this - what for them if no school?

Darren

Carlotta said...

How about a learning resource centre...loads of free resources which they could use at will? If they hadn't been desocialised too early, and if adults were on hand to advise, do you think that would work?

Anonymous said...

Carlotta, I think the whole issue is problematic and to be frank I haven't thought the whole thing through properly.

In an ideal world I would like to see the end of all schools.

I would love to see 'learning centres' with tons of fantastic stuff going on that families could access at their own free will.

My children love all the workshops available at HESFES - imagine HESFES style workshops enhanced and 52 weeks a year - we would be in heaven!

My problem is that some parents would not bother to get out of bed to attend such things.
They would say they are educating at home, but I am sorry to say that I think that there is a significant minority of parents who would pay their children very little positive attention at home.

What to do with such families?

To be honest - I don't know.

Darren

Carlotta said...

I agree that it wouldn't be easy, but am pretty sure, (from recent work experience where I found myself working with a lot of state educated young people whose default mechanism is hyper defensiveness mixed with aggression) that school is most definitely NOT the answer!

I very, very rarely see this sort of attitude in the HE community and when we do chance upon it, there are so many people to help the person out of their unnecessary defensive bullying position, that they almost always do grow, flourish, become responsible citizens again.

I also see DS and DD doing this with their schooled friends. My children have to gently socialise these children back to normality. Only Friday, I overheard my son saying to mindlessly crude school boy, "Hey, dude, that's not necessary here." Boy's behaviour massively improves, almost immediately.

So much for unsocialised HEors. My son is often the only one schooled boys around here actually want to see!

I think that in order to effect change so that people don't arrive in the real world damaged by school, it does come down to numbers. You would have to start small, with a core band of nice guys who are prepared to put in the effort and gradually grow outward. If the learning resource centre could be staffed that way, and gradually take more and more people out of schools...well you never know!

elizabeth said...

@ Darren

School may be better than home, that doesn't mean there isn't an even better possibility.

"My problem is that some parents would not bother to get out of bed to attend such things.
They would say they are educating at home, but I am sorry to say that I think that there is a significant minority of parents who would pay their children very little positive attention at home."

Agreed, though if the assumption that the state provide an education was shown to be the exaggeration it is and choice was more obvious then parents would probably take more responsibility, they might find they enjoy it and grow in confidence as we home educators do. Even if this were not to happen learning centres could be provided for children where they have access to learning resources and teaching that are not compulsory. The state could provide safety net options that people would choose there would be no need for compulsion.

nice example here

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html

Leo said...

Sigh. It's not schooling you have to fight, but COMPULSORY EDUCATION.

Leo said...

"My problem is that some parents would not bother to get out of bed to attend such things."

It's not your problem. It's not even for you to decide if it's a problem or not.

I have other home educators giving me the suspicious eye because unlike them I don't run from group activity to group actitivy and trip to trip. I don't need this on top of LA fear.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

The commentator on our post, Ian B, is a good friend of the Libertarian Alliance, and I think has his own blog:-

http://www.countingcats.com/?p=3301

Please also feel quite free to quote or lift anything you please, from The Libertarian Alliance. You do not need to ask us in advance.

All we request is a link back to us afterwards, if you can be so kind.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

if you just look at what "Zenna" Atkins has said:-

http://www.agent4change.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=374&catid=65&Itemid=194

...and you carefully boil it down to its fundamentals, and try to see what she means, well: er, well....there aren't any and it means f***-all.

It's Statist bullshit arsewipe, spun for the MSM and for the GramscoFabiaNazi teachers, of whom there are many, many thousands, and who will scragg the pants off her if she said anything with meaning.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

Why do GramscoFabiaNazis always have silly faux-ethnic names?

Like "Zenna"...

Are they born with them, or do they adopt them on realisation of their political orientation?

Does being born with a poncy name make you become a socialist?

Or, do you consciously adopt one on espousing socialism?

Discuss..... (as they say)