Education Is NOT the Same as Schooling
Have you ever wondered why high school is the way it is? The modern school was invented by the Prussians in 1806. It was created to serve a particular purpose: to produce loyal, obedient subjects and soldiers and productive, obedient workers. Prior to this, education was delivered in many different ways. Understanding how the modern school came to be explains why schools are the way they are and why they have the features they have. For example, we can see why schools have a very hierarchical structure and break the day into rigid blocks of time.
Professor Steven Davies points out that many of the features of the modern school seem unnecessary, even counterproductive. Why, for example, should students of a similar age be placed together instead of students of similar ability and interest level?
The modern school also leads to some misconceptions about education. It gives the impression that education is necessary only at one stage of life, instead of being a lifelong endeavor. Professor Davies argues that school is not the same thing as education, and treating them the same gives us a radically impoverished understanding of what education should be. It is time to move away from the idea that school are the only, or even the best, way to deliver education.
The Prussian Connection[article]: A history of American public schooling, detailing the Prussian origins of our current public school system
The Public School Nightmare [article]: John Taylor Gatto, a well-respected and successful public school teacher, argues for abolishing the public school system
Why I Send My Children to Public Schools [article]: A defense of the public school system and a call to uphold the current system
From Prussia to America: Public Schools Destroy Lives (video): The tyrannical nature of public schooling and its consequences
Is There a Crisis? [interview]: PBS interviews academic experts on the state of public education
The Origins of the Public School [article]: The ignoble origins of the American public school system
Education Is Not the Same as Schooling