Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ivan Illich

"Since when are people born needy? In need, for instance, of education? Since when do we have to learn the language we speak by being taught by somebody? I wanted to find out where the idea came from that all over the world people have to be assembled in specific groups of not less than 15, otherwise it's not a class. Not more than forty, otherwise they are underprivileged. For yearly, not less than 800 hours, otherwise they don't get enough. Not more than 1,100 hours, otherwise it's considered a prison. For four-year periods by somebody else who has undergone this for a longer time.

How did it come about that such a crazy process like schooling would become necessary? Then I realized that it was something like engineering people - that our society doesn't only produce artifact things, but artifact people. And that it doesn't do that by the content of the curriculum, but by getting them through this ritual which makes them believe that learning happens as a result of being taught..."

"Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby "schooled" to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is "schooled" to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question."

On The News

Pupil arrested over skull injury
"A 12-year-old boy has been arrested after an incident at a Cornwall school in which a 13-year-old boy was left with serious head injuries."

Raise the learning leaving age?
" overwhelming 93% think teenagers have a right to choose."

British MPs Table Early Day Motion Backing Autism Campaign, UK

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