Monday, November 21, 2016

One-Room Schoolhouse Redux!

The factory system applied to public education is counter-productive, not to mention soul-deadening. The vast educational bureaucracy is impersonal, dreadfully wasteful of human and economic resources and standardized to an absurd degree. It is meant to turn out interchangeable human widgets, not individuals who think for themselves and has proven quite successful in this respect right up to university-level. The Subsidiarity Principle needs to be employed in education!

Public education on a large scale is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the West, the "factory model" even more so, dating back some 200 years with a forerunner in Prussia in the late 18th century. Nevertheless, as a widespread system, factory-style schooling  is more a 20th century phenomenon, particularly in the USA. Could be it's time to turn back the clock and shut down or drastically alter the "edufactories".

Public schooling is all well and good, but it doesn't need centralized planning, compartmentalization and massification. The Institute favors reading over mixed-media learning and isn't intended for those who favor the latter. Therefore, we offer up this wonderfully instructive 94 page tome for your perusal: . It's hard to imagine a child who wouldn't benefit from schooling of this sort when compared with the "bells and cells" factory-style schools of the 20th century and particularly the post-WW II period.

As stated in an Infogalactic entry: "The key characteristics of factory model education are top-down management, separation from the community, emphasis on management, centralized planning, standardization, outcomes designed to meet societal needs, and efficiency in producing results. [emphasis added]". The entire entry ( is worth reading. These dreadful facilities are in fact meant more for social engineering than for education or even simple academic instruction.

Homeschooling is frequently the only alternative to the institutionalized, taxpayer-funded flesh-drone factory replete with unionized, pension-awaiting time-servers droning on in front of an audience of techno-lobotomized "learners". The outnumbered educators who are dedicated, well-prepared and committed are wasted in such an environment, given that in a more community-based school they would be effective in their vocation, because for them, teaching is a vocation, not a "job" down at the factory. 
Communities could, however, develop other options, but often face legal challenges if they wish to do so. The State rarely lets its subjects simply slip away. In the village in which the Institute is housed, a group of parents wanted to introduce a Waldorf-style preschool that would "compete" with the factory-prep preschool. The educational "authorities" informed them that if their children did not attend the "official" and obligatory preschool (beginning at age four), they would be prohibited from entering the system until they had completed the requisite time in the "official" child receptacle. If one can afford it, the factory can be avoided and children educated as human beings rather than grist for the labor market mill or occupants of a low-security day care facility for the ineducable.

An unpleasant truth that few care to admit is that the percentage of "students" whose "education" provides them with any genuine benefit other than free meals is far higher than the bureaucracy and even parents are willing to face. But what are we to do with them? This is where community-based educational programs could be very effective, assuming they recognize the hard truths of reality. 

It's simple, really, the more self-governance, the more local sovereignty, the greater the potential for community solidarity.

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