ILLICH -DESCHOOLING SOCIETY
It has never happened to me to read such a strong book in recent years.
There are authors that we hear of and that we do not stop to read because of some label that have been attributed to them (uncomfortable author, leftist, criticized …).
As Oscar Wide says, paraphrasing, I’ve heard about him so badly that I thought he must necessarily be a good person.
Illich’s life is full of action and courage.
An extremely spiritual, involved, interesting person.
the author’s intention leaves no room for doubt from the first lines of the text: “Why We Must Disestablish School”.
I like the incipit:
“Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance (p.3).
Somehow even as a child, I sensed that school was the OTHER space compared to the family, that I could learn the rules, follow them and that they were valid within the school’s perimeter. Outside it was different, outside school it didn’t matter.
I like how the author outlines the relationship between poor relatives and school: school is important, you have to go there, physically and assiduously every day, follow the teacher, behave in a respectful manner. And no perspective or interest in content, method, or purpose. A passive adhesion and a faith cultivated and received from the outside “for the future of the children”.
It is interesting to see how some of the aspects taken into account by the author have now exploded, multiplied, trivialized: many of the myths have been transformed into accepted and shared reality.
The Myth of Institutionalized Values
The Myth of Measurement of Values
The Myth of Packaging Values
The Myth of Self-Perpetuating Progress
Ritual Game and the New World Religion
The Coming Kingdom: The Universalization of Expectations
The New Alienation
Some comparisons and parallels with the Catholic world are interesting, knowing the origin and position of the author as a priest.
Some declarations are so actual and insightful:
What are needed are new networks, readily available to the public and designed to spread equal opportunity for learning and teaching.
- Reference Services to Educational Objects-which facilitate access to things or processes used for formal learning.
- Skill Exchanges
- Reference Services to Educators-at-Large
“Efforts to find a new balance in the global milieu depend on the deinstitutionalization of values”(p. 48)
The book is a Vessel and Ark arrived to us today to re-calibrate our trajectory for the future.
Ivan Illich was born in Vienna in 1926. He studied theology and philosophy at the Gregorian University in Rome and obtained a Ph.D. in history at the University of Salzburg. He came to the United States in 1951, where he served as assistant pastor in an Irish-Puerto Rican parish in New York City. From 1956 to 1960 he was assigned as vice-rector to the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, where he organized an intensive training center for American priests in Latin American culture. Illich was a co-founder of the widely known and controversial Center for Intercultural Documentation (CIDOC) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and since 1964 he has directed research seminars on “Institutional Alternatives in a Technological Society,” with special focus on Latin America.