Deschooling for education reform

I’m gonna be frank;

Home educating is not for everyone.

But I’ll tell you what is for everyone;

Deschooling is for everyone.

Home educating requires time, effort, a supportive community, and ways of making income that can fit around your children and don’t burn you out.

But most importantly, it requires a growing awareness and a willingness to let go of schooly thinking, a.k.a deschooling. ALL home educators and home educated children go through at least one major phase of deschooling, so it is as seen as something only home educators do.

But deschooling is for everyone.

As much as I love home educating, as much as it has enriched my life and consistently reduces me to a state of innocent wonder, it’s not the answer to growing cries for ‘education reform’. Parents, children, educators, youth workers, businesses, charities, the government – they’re all calling for big changes, but, as far as I can tell, not many of them have ever lived a life outside of the schooled system.

I hear so many good intentions, I see so much energy and enthusiasm.

All of this is great!

But what I don’t see is many people asking those of us who are
a) already educating without using the school system
b) already creating alternatives to the school system
c) living outside of a schooled culture and therefore are observing learning without the lense of school being the only/best way to educate.

So I’m going to be even franker.

If you think you can radically change a system when your thinking is still largely constrained by the system then you need to think again.

How can you know the nature of your blinkers until you see them and take them off?

Deschooling is for everyone.

It is not enough to have better teacher training.

It is not enough to have better discipline.

It is not enough to choose a better pedagogy.

It is not enough to design better classrooms.

It is not even enough (although this would, I’m sure, help a lot) to have well funded schools that don’t have to rely on regular and frequent charity drives.

What is needed is a shift in perception. We all need to step outside of the schooled world and see it objectively.

THIS IS deschooling.

If we still have ties to the system we need to temporarily let them go so that our own identities are not mixed up with the model we’re evaluating.
We need to move outside of our current education ecosystem and learn about existing alternatives and the principles and values behind them.
We must suspend the need to measure outcomes, progress, success and instead make space to observe and reflect on some basic questions;

What is education?

What is it for?

How will we know it has been successful?

THIS IS deschooling.

Do not be fooled.

These questions appear simple but this is not a test paper.

These are not questions with predictable answers that combine to give you a pass or fail.

These are questions that are part of an inquiry *process*.
If you ask them sincerely and seek out the observations of those who are not reliant on the school system, they will change the way you see schools, education, children, society, the economy, justice, the future, your history, your upbringing, your self – for ever.

This is deschooling.

If you ponder these questions and find some answers, write them down.

Let them settle.

Then continue exploring.

As your perspective shifts and evolves guess what?

Your answers can shift and evolve too.

There is no right answer.
There is no final answer.

Deschooling IS FOR EVERYONE who cares about education reform.
Deschooling is the KEY to education reform.


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Looking for some support on your deschooling journey? Send me a message!

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