Sunday, June 26, 2005

Warning to Students of All Ages

Excerpts from Vaneigem's '90s article on school reform:

"Has schooling lost the repulsive character that it had in the 19th and 20th centuries, when it broke spirits and bodies upon the hard realities of efficiency and servitude, making it glorious to educate by forced labor, authority and austerity, and never by pleasure or passion? Nothing is surer, and it can't be denied that, in all the apparent eagerness of modernity, a whole lot of archaic ideas continue to scandalize the lives of schoolchildren.

Hasn't the scholastic enterprise obeyed, up to this very day, one dominant preoccupation: improve the techniques of training so that the animal would become a profitable investment?"

. . . .Paradoxically, the educational system, which teaches youths, i.e., those who change the most, has been the institution that has changed the least of all."


  • A school in which life becomes boring teaches nothing but barbarism.
  • A school that hinders desires stimulates aggressiveness.
  • How can one get to know things when oppression exists?
  • Error is not culpability.
  • Only those who possess the keys to nature and dreams will open the school to an open society.
  • Whoever teaches with fear renders knowledge timid.
  • Liberate the desire to know from constraint.
  • Make school into a center for the creation of the living, not the antechamber for a parasitic commodity society
  • The end of forced labor will inaugurate the era of creativity.
  • Give favor to quality, not quantity.
  • Learn autonomy, not dependence.
  • An alliance with children is an alliance with nature.
  • etc... follow link to whole essay.

"In collectives of students and professors, the task of snatching the school from the glaciation of profit and changing it to a place of simple human generosity reappears. Sooner or later, the quality of life will attain the sovereignty denied to it by an economy reduced to selling and valorizing its own collapse.

From the instant that you form the project of a pedagogy founded on a natural pact with life, you will no longer have to beg money from those who exploit and scorn you by marketing you. You will demand that pact because you will know how and why you can seize the freedom that it implies.

One doesn't live as long as expected if one doesn't fully develop one's capacities."

Raoul Vaneigem's "A Warning to Students of All Ages


At 8:43 PM, Blogger Newmania said...

Schooling is such a big part of our world. I've spent over half of my life in school. Americans spend at least 12 years in school. Lord knows the taiwanese spend some time in school!

And it seems to be really broken. Personally, I had a really tough time in school. School shootings are a small percentage - but very loud protest. Teachers grumble. Students can't point out their capital on a map.

With most things that are really screwed up, it could be SO GREAT. Schools today, with all we know about development and availablity of technology, have so much potential.

Count me in as a school reformer. What do I read next?

thanks for the great post,


Post a Comment

<< Home