It's a fictional streetscape we wander, here, a metropolis whose buildings, boulevards, and back alleys are in a constant state of flux. This is every place, and yet, no place at all - a city of dreams and a dream of a city.

Here, we explore the life and work of Ivan Illich and his circle of collaborators. There's no comprehensive index to the articles published, but we invite you to use the Search box, to the left, and to explore the Archive links that appear at the bottom of each page. Comments are welcomed.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Glenn Beck, Walt Disney, and Deschooling

One of the mad dogs of conservatism has spoken in favor of deschooling and homeschooling, or at least his version of those ideas. Read all about "Glenn Beck’s Educational Utopia" at a blog called I Love You but You're Going to Hell, written with style by Adam Laats, teaching at SUNY Binghamton.

Laats writes:

Beck described his vision of utopia in his plans for a new theme park, Independence, USA. Like Walt Disney’s early visions, Beck wants a new kind of park, one that embodies Beck’s vision of proper American culture and society.

Parts of that vision include a radical de-schooling. As Beck promoted it, this park would include a chance for students to learn by doing. He asks …,

“Does everybody have to go to an Ivy League university? Or can we teach craft, can we teach business, can we teach things? Are there people willing to teach through apprenticeships? . . . If it’s not possible, then America’s golden streets are dead.”

More profoundly, Beck insists, “Schools are a thing of the past the way we’ve designed them.” For those who would live inside the boundaries of Beck’s Potemkin, children would learn in “neighborhood” clusters. Children would be freed from the artificial constraints of institutional education, freed to learn by downloading content directly from the archives in Independence USA.

Others have written about the deschooling argument as put forth or interpreted by the Beckish, Tea Party right. Here and here, for instance.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States
Writer, photographer, music fan; father and husband living in northern Calif.