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Why Do We Need Compulsory Schooling?
As I have been
traveling around the world in the past few years, I have
talked to many students in many countries about the topic
of compulsory education, I have asked them for example:
Would you go to school if you didnt have to go?
But when I asked them why they would go, the number one answer wasn't "to get a good job." That was actually the number two answer.
The number one answer has consistently been To see my friends.
Many years ago the
educator Maria Montessori said that children's brains are designed to
learn. She said that it is the innate and natural
curiosity that motivates a child to want to learn.
In recent times,
psychologist Peter Gray, at Boston College, has echoed
Maria Montessoris belief.
....why would we have
to make school compulsory? Why would we have to force
them to go? And why would we have to threaten them with
punishment for not going?
I compare the
situation with compulsory schooling to the situation in
the former eastern European countries controlled by the
Soviet Union. In those countries people would risk their
lives to try to escape, to try to leave, to avoid being
there. So what did the authorities do?
In my opinion, this, just like with the former Soviet countries, is simply not sustainable.