HomeSchooling Home Education Blog

Why Schools Don't Educate

[Wednesday 20th December 2017]

We have stumbled upon an article that echos all that we have understood about the problems with the school system, and the great advantages of homeschooling.

The full text of this article can be found at:

This article was written by John Taylor Gatto as his acceptance speech for 'Teacher of the Year' ... he had seen what it is really like 'on the inside', and he totally "tells it like it is" about the problems of the 'system'!

(By the way, the developers of HomeLearn are also experienced educators who have seen and experienced what it is really like 'on the inside', which is why we totally agree with John Taylor Gatto and his speech.)

Here is an interesting quote from this article:

"I've noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my twenty-five years of teaching - that schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers do care and do work very hard, the institution is psychopathic - it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to different cell where he must memorize that man and monkeys derive from a common ancestor."

Notice what this quote is saying - it is not the fault of the teachers or the topics or even the curriculum ... it is the 'institution' (schools) that just don't work. This is not about finding a 'better school' or a 'different teacher' ... you need a whole new way of educating!

Here is another quote from this article that adds to this thought:

"I don't think we'll get rid of schools anytime soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we're going to change what is rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the school institution "schools" very well, but it does not "educate" - that's inherent in the design of the thing. It's not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent, it's just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing."

So what, specifically, is wrong with 'schools'?

John Taylor Gatto says:

"It is absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety, indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, scaling you to a continuous present much the same way television does.

It is absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you to listen to a stranger reading poetry when you want to learn to construct buildings, or to sit with a stranger discussing the construction of buildings when you want to read poetry.

It is absurd and anti-life to move from cell to cell at the sound of a gong for every day of your natural youth in an institution that allows you no privacy and even follows you into the sanctuary of your home demanding that you do its "homework".

But what is the alternative? The answer is 'homeschooling' (which, by the way, is quite wrongly named ... it is not about "schooling" but about "learning" ... it should be called 'Home Learn' (ing)!!) John Taylor Gatto again:

"The homeschooling movement has quietly grown to a size where one and a half million young people are being educated entirely by their own parents. Last month the education press reported the amazing news that children schooled at home seem to be five or even ten years ahead of their formally trained peers in their ability to think."

The numbers here are irrelevant ... what is really scary to realise is that this speech was written in 1990 ... that is 27 years ago ... and nothing has changed, we believe it has just got worse. In fact 'you' and your ideas of 'schooling' are probably a product of this!

So ... please read the full article and think deeply about what has happened to 'you' through the 'system' that John Taylor Gatto has described. Do you want this to keep on going for another generation, or is it time to make a change for your children?