I would rather die a natural death than be prepared for it by the academy, and have occasionally had a lesson from a grass-mower that seemed to me more useful than one in Greek –Vincent van Gogh
As a lapsed greenkeeper (grass-mower) that quote from my artist hero inspires me and confirms my long held belief about education…it’s too highly regarded to be authentic.
What do I mean by that?
Here’s the short version. In the deeply consumerist, materialist and ultimately Capitalist West, we generally believe our governments when they tell us we live in a democracy.
“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”
― Joseph Stalin
Although, perhaps not the most trustworthy of sources, Stalin got this one right in my view. Even if we can largely trust the voting mechanism we don’t have a great deal to choose from and even when our choice of government prevails, once they’re in office they generally do what the hell they want.
Given the obvious bias among politicians toward looking after themselves, why do governments make such a huge fuss about making sure we all get our full quota of education? They don’t really seem to give a toss about us in the other aspects of our lives after all.
It’s a one word answer; indoctrination and it’s so important for governments that they will go to extraordinary lengths to make sure you are subjected to it for as long as possible. Parents can now be prosecuted if their kids don’t attend school regularly enough in the UK.
There’s a strong trend towards home schooling among people who can see through this problem and significant interest in un-schooling (a kind of anti-school type of education delivered by parents in a very natural, non-classroomy way) among concerned parents.
There’s been such a rush toward further and higher level education (post high school College and University) over the last few decades that a University Degree doesn’t give graduates much of an advantage. It’s individuality/scarcity/novelty and uniqueness that creates opportunities and demand for our skills and we’ve all been rushing headlong to make ourselves the same as everyone else ;-). Suddenly, plugging it to go fishing doesn’t sound so daft an idea does it?
The fact is that by glorifying education for education’s sake, by rushing to comply with the government requirements to send our kids to clone school we’ve played right into the hands of our democratically elected dictators; this is why they push it so hard. They need un-questioning clones to feed their factories, call centres and war machines. They need to sell us membership of the big casino of life where we earn and spend, earn and spend, earn and spend, earn and die, without being too much of a drain on resources.
Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic, I will encourage my daughters to follow their own desires and explore their own interests.
Beware of over-schooling.