I do think we need to have access available to everyone, which I don’t believe is happening now. Access to quality education is not the norm.

However, I do think that mandatory education is based on fear. No judgement in this statement. I believe we have a fear as adults that if we don’t offer the path for students that they will miss something. I am not sure they will. I don’t think the system of schooling we have now offers well rounded education. I think that well rounded education can be learned outside of school. I also think well rounded and democratic life would include an extremely different type of school, or maybe no school at all. More on that later, do see Dewey Outlines Utopia


Personally I see way more people who have only learned how to be in school, how to be led down a path, to be fearful of risk, mistakes, and not knowing.

That being said, I also see a fear coming from unschoolers and people who believe school is inhumane. This fear is based on the belief that one can only truly love learning if it comes from complete freedom. I don’t believe this to be true.

What i see education evolving to is a mixture of small learning tribes that allow for structured and unstructured learning. I don’t think you need to make this learning compulsory, but we should make it part of the way of life.

I truly believe that learning together is a compelling way to live, I don’t think it would go away just because it was not mandated.

Actually my fear lies with schools going away because they are no longer meaningful and engaging places to learn.

My work is to help the transition towards a more evolved and transform living and learning. I often see my positive vision of living and learning in schools and often I see it at library full of learners, or in backyards, or in small groups of children talking to elders in the community. I see it self organized classes like Skill Share, and places like the Cooperative Catalyst, and twitter. I see it in young peoples and adults doing project and passion based learning both in and outside of classrooms, I see it in the Occupy Movement and community learning programs.

I don’t see it in classes rooms full of desks, or allotted learning times from 8am-3 monday-friday, September- June.

I don’t think life long learning means you go to school for 15 years and then your done. I think life long learning is a way of life that does not need to be mandated, but instead must be encouraged, supported and celebrated.

What are we really saying when we say we don’t trust you to see the meaningfulness of learning together?

Cooperative Catalyst

Cross posted from my blog, Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension

An interesting debate has been sparked in the comments section of my post “Not Grading is Awful” here on the Cooperative Catalyst, with some people stating that forced school is inhumane.  I have been pondering this for a bit and I must say I disagree; having an educational system that is mandatory is not inhumane, not having one would be.  And neither is forcing courses on students, it all comes down to how those courses are taught, which incidentally is something we do have a bit of control over.

Now I know that we are tied to standards and district regulations, the politicians are breathing down our neck to raise test scores and there are, indeed, major flaws within our educational system, and yet…There are many things we can change within the public school setting.  I did.  But back…

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