That Which Is Learned vs. That Which Is Not Learned

Editor’s Pick. Written by Chantal K. Saucier.

Human beings learn constantly and they do so from the time they are born until the time they die. I have yet to meet anyone who did not believe this to be true. Yet, the vast majority of people also seem to believe that human beings between the ages of 5 and 18 will not learn what they need to know in our society if we don’t “teach” them. What would children learn if they weren’t required to absorb a pre-determined curriculum is a question hardly anyone is asking.

People forget, it seems, that this school business is a very recent invention in terms of humanity. Truth is, if our ancestors could not have learned without schools what they needed to know in order to survive and prosper, none of us would be here. By not trusting children to learn what they need to know on their own, we are essentially breaking the shopkeeper’s window on purpose, over and over again, because we do not trust that he will spend his money wisely if he doesn’t have to use it to fix the window.

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