by Matt Hern
What's wrong with our education?? School!
Debates about education often revolve around standardized testing, taxes and funding, teacher certification-everything except how to best help kids develop learning skills. Everywhere All the Time presents an array of historical and contemporary alternatives to traditional schooling, demonstrating that children's capacity to learn decreases as soon as they enter bureaucratic, institutional facilities.
Trends indicate an increasing skepticism toward current public and private school models. They fail to offer kids the skills they need to be healthy, self-directed life-learners. They stifle creativity, and encourage conformity of thought. They utilize draconian disciplinary measures and a one-size-fits-all approach to learning. Government control of, and corporate intrusion into education has been a further disaster for communities concerned with the welfare of their youngsters. Alternatively, the "deschooling" project offers self-directed learning strategies for children, encourages community-building and participation from parents in the learning process, builds critical thinking for active engagement and democratic self-governance, and alleviates the negative psychological effects of traditional schooling methods.
Contributors include, among many others, Ivan Illich, Grace Llewellyn, John Taylor Gatto, Vinoba Bhave, Emma Goldman, Gustava Esteva, Madhu Prakash, Pat Farenga, the Pedro Abizu Puerto Rican High School and Albany Free School, as well as interviews with unschooled children and an array of international alternative-to-school experimenters in Israel, Thailand, India, and Mali.
Matt Hern lives and works in East Vancouver with his partner and daughters. He directs the Purple Thistle Centre and founded Car-Free Vancouver Day. His writing has been published on all six continents and translated into many languages. He continues to lecture widely, including at both UBC and SFU in Vancouver. His books include Field Day: Getting Society Out of School and Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn't Always Better.