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Lake Session

After some bathing & beers at the Theklaer lake we started a session prepared by Markus on institutionalized education inspired by a critique by Ivan Illich - Deschooling Society. Illich was European but acted and lived a long time in Mexico, where he founded a Center of Education and generally developed techniques to overcome traditional teaching institutions. In that he was always oriented on pracmatic solutions. His often rather radical statements have tobe understood in this constructive way. An important paradigm was the focus on the need of people and also efficiency: “I teach what you need, and so you will listen and learn fast.”

Points of serious critique towards the school and university system are:

  • inherent teacher-student hierarchy prevents unconstrained encounters and communication
  • monopolized education (finally expressed by degrees and diplomas) leads to deevaluation of any education outside of such institutions
  • every social need that finds an institutionalized answer creates new lines of poverty and depenndencies by excluding a certain amount of people
  • prevents establishment and participation in alternative, autonomous structures of education
  • is extremely inefficient when it comes to time, money, and personnel (12 years in school to learn what??)
  • always necessarily works toward a (state-)national or economical goal instead towards a independently defined social aim
  • does not create equal chances but the opposite by favouring educational time & types over others, the majority gets excluded
  • over-specialisation creates helplessness when it comes to everyday-life or relatively simple crafts
  • supports the dogma that learning is always an outcome of teaching; while actually at school we learn most stuff only because we are forced to spend a great deal of our time there, education is thus more a side effect of school, it's real aim being storage of kids and forming future consumers
  • contents of education mostly are totally ignorant of interests; unworldlyness of education; cf. Freire for different forms
  • classification is done according to age and irrespective of individual development, talents, and interests
  • the certain amount of autonomy and freedom at university serves as a containment of insurgent thought
  • cognitive ability, self-reliance, creativity, delight in encounters etc. depletes systematically under the influence of “down-schooling” through the focus on certain teaching contents
  • compulsory education is a outrageous coercion (“unerhörter Zwang”)
  • the eductaional system acts like a worldwide “cargo-cult”, as a substitute for state religion, creating expectations and obedient citizens
  • through academization in poor countries a market is established that is not accessible for most people
  • schools are closely related to other state institutions of violence and totalitarian power, like prisons, military, police in how they work and are organised
  • we benefit from skills through scarcity, not by distribution
  • standardization of knowledge and skills leads to its depletion
  • direct communcation is replaced through hierarchic protocols

What shall alternatives do?

  • create spaces for independent, free, creative, joyful, self-determined, cross-linked, emancipating, escaping, manifold, far-reaching, liberatory thought and action
  • “web” (rhizome project) instead of “funnel” (“Trichter”) as a model for education; educational facilities have to be meeting-spots, relational networks, crossroads, marketplaces, places of abidance (“Verweilorte”)
  • make possible individual aims and values while also fostering openness
  • they shall prove that with much more modest resources it is possible to create spaces that have effect
  • abolition of strict teacher-student hierarchy, instead floating relations
  • respect needs and desires (allow “erotic” sensation)
  • promote random and surprising encounters, create new connections
  • a restriction to one special subject (like physics) is meaningless in the first place if one considers this points, extension to other important parts of life and fulfil desires on all levels
  • concentrate on the participating people instead on abstract contents
  • value action over consumption (“Vorzug des Tuns über Konsum und Verbrauch”), activity over production
  • free access to learning materials of all kinds instead of artificial scarcity (commons as an alternative form of property)
  • ignorance towards established degrees and diplomas
  • a right for everyone to learn and to teach
  • a poetic encounter with the dirt instead of social hygiene
  • love humans more than products, everybody is interesting
leipzig2016/iversity.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/31 13:49 by markus