Saturday, April 21, 2007

Deschooling

I'm noticing that a lot of my posts mention the problems with the school system, either through the quotes I include, news links, or whatever. My intention isn't really to create a school bashing blog. I guess this is all part of my deschooling process.

Just in case you haven't come across the concept of "deschooling", Beverley Paine explains the process parents go through this way: "the unlearning of concepts and beliefs about the nature and purpose of education. It often takes many months, and sometimes even a year, for the process of deschooling to unfold."

So, having been conditioned to accept, without questioning, out of blind faith, a series of educational myths, I'm going through this process of opening my eyes to the reality of the situation, unplugging myself from the matrix, moving away from total denial... that word, denial, for some reason, brings to mind Kubler-Ross' 5 stages of grief:

denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

I'm now wondering whether there's something, in the deschooling process, about loss? All changes involve loss but here I'm thinking more in terms of mourning the loss of a fantasy. These last 18 months have been really exciting, with a steep learning curve and a major paradigm shift taking place...

So, these five stages... After denial, the next stage is anger. On the one hand, anger at the huge amount of conditioning, brainwashing and propaganda I was subjected to; on the other, anger that it has taken me so long to see through all the lies. It is easy to point the finger and direct the anger at all the people in the system who are still in denial but, at the end of the day, anger is like eating poison and expecting the other person to die. It doesn't work and I don't want to waste time and energy with it. Whenever I notice I'm getting annoyed at the widespread mix of ignorance and arrogance out there, I gently remind myself that I too have been there - and it wasn't that long ago...

After anger comes bargaining. Some parents try bargaining. I went through that too. Before de-registering I actually had a go at it; thought about flexischooling, building some sort of partnership with the school, etc. Didn't work, of course, but the process was, in itself, a great eye-opener! Painful but incredibly revealing - definitely educational! ;-)

Underneath anger there's usually some degree of sadness. People are hurting out there, school children as young as 11 are committing suicide - that is a fact, that really is happening. Realising that things were not as pretty as we thought they were is kinda sad... Acceptance is not easy. These 5 stages are not necessarily linear, and I'll leave it at that. I'll just end with this quote, from someone I admire:

"It is not up to us to judge whether something is good or bad, but just to know what it is."