Great article covering much of the science and history of institutionalized schooling and illustrating some of the many (more than two million children!) ways people are accessing alternate forms of education for children.
“Education has become an American institution—of the worst kind.”
Parents send their children to school with the best of intentions, believing that formal education is what kids need to become productive, happy adults. Many parents do have qualms about how well schools are performing, but the conventional wisdom is that these issues can be resolved with more money, better teachers, more challenging curricula, or more rigorous tests. But what if the real problem is school itself?
The unfortunate fact is that one of our most cherished institutions is, by its very nature, failing our children and our society.
Children are required to be in school, where their freedom is greatly restricted, far more than most adults would tolerate in their workplaces. In recent decades, we’ve been compelling them to spend ever more time in this kind of setting, and there’s strong evidence that this is causing psychological damage to many of them. And as scientists have investigated how children naturally learn, they’ve realized that kids do so most deeply and fully, and with greatest enthusiasm, in conditions that are almost opposite to those of school….
….Most people assume that the basic design of today’s schools emerged from scientific evidence about how children learn. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Schools as we know them today are a product of history, not of research.
The rest of the article is here.