On Schooling

It’s no surprise to you I’m sure that I am not a fan of the institution of schooling. Among other things, I very much dislike the double threat of coercion that it engages in, which are the use of punishments to encourage desirable behaviors, and the use of manipulation, that is, telling children that without school they will be stupid. “Do what we tell you, or else your life will be made unpleasant and you will remain stupid and ignorant” is the battle cry of parents and teachers who believe in schooling. The former is rude and counterproductive, and the latter is just plain wrong. The fact that people grow up smart, happy, and nice to other people without the institution of schooling (and without punishments) proves it’s totally unnecessary. If you’re a parent considering your options, know that school is probably fine if your children retain their autonomy while there (and you don’t become an agent of coercion and manipulation on behalf of the school), but otherwise, run for the hills. And that’s today’s two cents.

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.