FAQs / Why are you opposed to schools (except the ones known as “democratic schools”)?

This site makes a case against schools, but to be precise, it is actually the process of schooling that is the problem, rather than the school per se. Schooling in this case refers to compelling people, using a system of reward and punishment, to study a curriculum that has been designed by authority figures, and to do so on a schedule irrespective of the developmental nature of the individual student.

No one is opposed to instruction from a caring and knowledgeable source that has been invited by the recipient. If schools acted more like libraries, or the Internet, or chosen mentors—all of which say, in effect, “We have lots to share; come and take what you want”—there would be no need for the fundamental shift for which this site is advocating.

On the title page of his first book, “How Children Fail,” written 60 years ago, John Holt quoted his colleague Bill Hull as saying, “If we taught children to speak, they’d never learn.” (Italics added for emphasis.) We believe that the failure of forced schooling is largely because we are trying to do just that—teach what would otherwise be learned naturally.

 

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