Schooling: “the pyramid of classified packages”

Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible […]

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Values for Today’s Education

We want one class of persons to have a liberal education. We want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks. So said Woodrow Wilson in 1909 to a group of trainee teachers, when he […]

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Learning in Abundance

So I then came to define education as learning under the assumption of scarcity, learning under the assumption that the means for acquiring something called knowledge are scarce. So said Ivan Illich during a series of interviews with David Cayley, first published in 1992, and re-published a couple of years ago in Ivan Illich in […]

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Illich & Convivial Education

Ivan Illich used the phrase Tools for Conviviality as the title of one of his books. It is a powerful book with a trenchant set of messages, messages I have found myself agreeing with in the round but feeling very uncomfortable with in much of the detail – in other words, his core sentiment and […]

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