How would children in a free nation be educated? Our answer to this concern lies in how we define “education,” and how we determine what learning is and how and where it takes place.
Most of us, because we are products of a government school system (any private or home school that is regulated by government is in this category), have an unnatural bias toward equating the terms “school” and “education.” We have been taught that school is where you go to get educated, and that the more schooling you have, the more educated you are. We have been indoctrinated by our own personal experience, as well as government and the media, to accept without question that it is normal, good, and right for us to send our children off to school at the age of five, and to keep them there five days a week, nine months a year, for the next twelve years.
When we start seeing or experiencing problems with the education system, our immediate course of action is to expend time and energy trying to fix it. Either individually or banded together in all manner of groups and organizations, we try all kinds of things hoping to alleviate the problems and meet our needs and those of our children: we advocate different curriculums, smaller class sizes, more discipline, less structure, higher pay for teachers, vouchers, privatization, alternative schools, home schooling, and more, depending on what is in vogue at the moment; we petition the state school board and the local school district, trying to convince them that our ideas have merit; we run for office in hopes that we can change things by passing some new law; we become certified teachers, thinking maybe we can make a difference from the “inside”; we home school or put our kids in private school, and wonder why we still don’t feel quite satisfied. In our government-schooled ignorance, we stumble along, unable to recognize that the institution we are trying to fix is inherently and irreparable defective, and that schooling is not the same as education.