Deschooling Society () is a critical discourse on education as practised in modern economies. It is a book that brought Ivan Illich to public attention. Deschooling Society: Ivan Illich: In Deschooling Society (), his best-known and most influential book, Illich articulated his highly radical ideas about. School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.”.

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Deschooling Society

Since the initial publication of deschoolimg Society” in there has been ivn change to the structure of public school and centralized institutions, at least in the United States. I found many of Illich’s arguments about institutionalized education compelling, especially those around decentralized “learning webs,” but I wasn’t convinced by his suggestion that true educational freedom requires the implementation of a system of tuition grants that would allow each citizen to direct their own education according to their intellectual and presumably material interests.

If there’s crime, what’s wrong with the criminal justice system; if there’s illness, what’s wrong with the hospitals; if people are mistreated, what’s wrong with the government, etc.

You might not swallow Deschooling wholesale, but Illich shines the light on so many of the unspoken I know I’m mixing metaphors here axioms of the educational systemalways a healthy endeavorand challenges us to either defend or discard. References to this book Schooling in Capitalist America: Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets.

Under this system, people can abdicate themselves of responsibility for their own growth, relying on teachers to impart them with knowledge.

The user would identify himself by name and address and describe the activity for which he sought a peer. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Our faith in institutions is such that we think that there is no problem which cannot be solved by an institution. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions illicg claim to il,ich these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.


Review of Ivan Illich’s seminal Deschooling Society

The poor find new forms of discrimination in education which benefits the children of the middle-classes proportionally more. In schools, including universities, most resources are spent to purchase the time and motivation of a limited number of people to take up predetermined problems in a ritually defined setting.

In Chapter 6 he sketches some ideas of how these distributed convivial institutions might work. Only by segregating human beings in the category of childhood could we ever get them to submit to the authority of a schoolteacher.

New educational institutions would break apart this pyramid. Illich traces in the evolution of these Greek myths a changing relationship with rationality and the earth. The role of schools is to produce ignorance rather than insight, to create credentials and envy of credentials rather than mastery, to suck up surplus labor and intellect in the Promethean furnace of a culture consuming itself.

By designing and packaging knowledge, schools generate the belief that knowledge must be acquired in graded and certified sequences. This is not a deshcooling for human relating but a concern for how to get the most social conformity and economic productivity out of people. It is a book that brought Ivan Illich to public attention.

Seventy years of utter failure is a blistering reality for Seattle’s schools. The most radical alternative to school would be a network or service which gave each man the same opportunity to share his current concern with others motivated by the same concern. Some clues are given in his talking about a culture which promotes re-use and repair of tools.


Speaking as someone in the 23rd grade, too much education is useless credentialism that serves to indebt the ambitious working classes. We need research on the possible use of technology to create institutions which serve personal, creative, and autonomous interaction and the emergence of values which cannot be substantially controlled by technocrats.

Deschooling Society | work by Illich |

I’m inclined to be dismissive of much of the politics in the book. Many students, especially those who are poor, soxiety know what the schools do for them.

As a public school parent, charter schools are a matter of principle. It would be like thinking that obligatory church attendance would eliminate sin.

Toward a History of Needs also initiates a project in the history or archaeology of ideas that takes its first full-bodied shape in Genderan attempt to recover social experiences of female-male complementarity that have been obscured by the modern economic regime. In truth with no experience and no industry competence training he would at best have been able to get an internship in publishing.

Deschooling Society – Ivan Illich – Google Books

Both view doctoring oneself as irresponsible, learning on one’s own as unreliable, and community organization, when not paid for by those in authority, as a form of aggression or subversion. Schooled as a priest he became anathema to both the left and the right of the Catholic Church.

Illich sees “Everywhere the hidden curriculum of schooling initiates the citizen to the myth that bureaucracies guided by scientific knowledge are efficient and benevolent.