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Activist campaign: Switching from school institutions to education practices

photo of Franco Iacomella

Franco Iacomella
6th April 2012


Viral campaign entitled “I don’t believe in traditional school, but I do believe in education” that aims to generate debate around school role and critizes the monopolization of “education” concept by State/Market educative institutions.

Spanish audio, but English subs available (be sure to enable them).

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7 Responses to “Activist campaign: Switching from school institutions to education practices”

  1. Øyvind Holmstad Says:

    Problem
    In a society which emphasizes teaching, children and students – and adults – become passive and unable to think or act for themselves. Creative, active individuals can only grow up in a society which emphasizes learning instead of teaching.

    Solution
    Instead of the lock-step of compulsory schooling in a fixed place, work in piecemeal ways to decentralize the process of learning and enrich it through contact with many places and people all over the city: workshops, teachers at home or walking through the city, professionals willing to take on the young as helpers, older children teaching younger children, museums, youth groups traveling, scholarly seminars, industrial workshops, old people, and so on. Conceive of all these situations as forming the backbone of the learning process; survey all these situations, describe them, and publish them as the city’s “curriculum”; then let students, children, their families and neighborhoods weave together for themselves the situations that comprise their “school” paying as they go with standard vouchers, raised by community tax. Build new educational facilities in a way which extends and enriches this network. – Christopher Alexander, pattern 18 in A Pattern Language

  2. Blake Stimson Says:

    The liberalization of education in the manner proposed by the video has long been the dream of economists like Milton Friedman and a platform of the Republican Party in the US. The goal is to privatize education by making it into a consumer choice rather than a democratic citizen function and by freeing government and thus taxpayers from the obligation to finance it. Since the rich pay more taxes than the poor, its primary aim can be said to redistribute wealth upwards by cutting public services in the manner that has generally been consistent with economic policies in the last 30 years. Insofar as the spokespeople in the video represent the working and middle classes, it is unfortunate that they have been put in the position of advocating for their own disenfranchisement.

  3. Øyvind Holmstad Says:

    @Blake, storing children away in human mono-cultures indoctrinating them in modernist liberalism is not good for the planet. Personally I wasted my childhood and youth in school, I learned next to nothing, and the school system made me nothing than a loser. This is not about privatization, it’s about system change, as today’s educational system is part of system B: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mDwbK_rqyGM

  4. Øyvind Holmstad Says:

    One more thing, the expression of the school buildings themselves are made to indoctrinate the children with modernist typologies, their facades are the face of modernist liberalism, meant to subdue the children under their ideology. That this is damaging to their cognitive skills, mental health and intelligence, they don’t care. No matter if the school is private our public! – Science for Designers: Intelligence and the Information Environment: http://www.metropolismag.com/pov/20120225/science-for-designers-intelligence-and-the-information-environment

  5. Blake Stimson Says:

    @Øyvind: I appreciate your concern with the inadequacies of existing institutional education but you have not addressed my concern about who will gain and who will lose most if the liberal model of de-institutionalization proposed by the video continues to be implemented to the extent it has been over the last 30 years. You are certainly right that any residual monoculturalism will finally be dissolved. If the old, modernist ideal was that everyone would receive an Oxbridge or Ivy League or UC education with all of their residual medievalism and modernism, the new is certainly the postmodernist dream of iTunesU where anyone with a modest amount of money can create their own educational playlist and determine their own criteria for the value of knowledge–whether that value is exchangeable in the market, in their social relations, or as some other function of psychological need. If the old dream was the contest of ideas, the new is the competition of the marketplace. There is no question that capitalism’s “free” market promises and often realizes freedom from the typologies,ideologies, etc you lament, but at what cost?

  6. Øyvind Holmstad Says:

    @Blake, I understand that you don’t know about classical liberalism, as it only existed on the edges of history. According to permaculture principle 11 we shall pay extra attention to the edges, as life is most rich and vivid there. I hate capitalism, or today’s pseudo-culture of brainwashing consumer society. What I want is some sort of classical liberalism where people are self-governed using the pattern technology of Christopher Alexander: http://permaculture.org.au/2012/02/07/peer-to-peer-themes-and-urban-priorities-for-the-self-organizing-society/

  7. Øyvind Holmstad Says:

    Sorry Blake, I forgot to give you the link to Charles Siegel’s excellent book on Classical Liberalism: http://www.preservenet.com/classicalliberalism/index.html

    Nb! It’s downloadable for free both as HTML and PDF!!!!

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