Deschooling Society

Deschooling Society is a classic tome about education and society.

In the video for Pink Floyd’s smash hit song, Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2), you see children at school being pushed into a giant sausage making machine and them all coming out the same.

In his book, Deschooling Society, Ivan Illich argues that this is a good metaphor for what schools are really about and that there may be a better way forward.


The Problem With Schools

Education was and is meant to be the pathway to opportunity, never mind that the correlation between success and education is inverse (that is a population becomes more educated after it becomes successful, rather than more successful after it becomes more educated), that’s the sales pitch.

Yet, the education system doesn’t work like this.

It doesn’t support the individual needs of any child, and underpinning the whole process is that idea that productivity which, in turn, leads to rampant consumption is the key to a better quality of human life.

deschooling society book review

No Child Left Behind

Ivan shows that this doesn’t have to be the way that the education system performs where some of us are certified “fit for the workplace” and others are discarded as “unfit” for the competition of work that lays in front of them.

He shows us how the system might be transformed into something that brings out the potential in each of us and considers what truly makes for a happy and fulfilled life and how education could support everyone in achieving that.

It’s a timely reminder that we ought to examine every aspect of life for potential improvement.

You can find Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich online here.


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