A more useful and radical proposal.

PEN Comment: We can have as many reviews and reports as we like but the default education remains. One or two key radical proposals could really change the face of education for the 21st century.

Perhaps we’d actually do a lot better  taking up the advice of Jim Strickland, a community based educator from Washington, USA. Jim writes about the ‘Dark Side of Schooling’ in Natural Life Magazine (NaturalLifeMagazine.com) March / April 2009. He draws upon Priesnitz, Gatto and Illich:

‘First we must make schooling voluntary. while many children thrive in our schools and appear to emerge relatively unscathed by its hidden curriculum, this is certainly not true for a growing percentage of students and their families, not to mention teh health of our democracy. How can we justify legally compelling citizens to submit to aporcess that is at best not working for them and possibly doing life-long damage? We can’t.’

Second we must make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of school credentials alone. Since we know that there are a variety of effective pathways to developing skillsand knowledge, we must honor these as legitimate….

These two actions would remove the obstacles for effective change to occur over time… for those who aren’t thriving, who are actually being diminished and even harmed by compulsory schooling, there would be an acceptable way out that would not make them into social, economic or political outcast. And as a democracy, we can do no less.’


Jim’s latest article is links to a previous paper published in NaturalLife Magazine in Nov/Dec 2008 http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0812/teacher_questions_compulsory_schooling.htm

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