John Holt QOTD

Swiped from sasse­nach, because I want­ed more peo­ple to read this:

I do not think we can treat as sep­a­rate the qual­i­ty of edu­ca­tion and the qual­i­ty of life in gen­er­al. …I am say­ing that tru­ly good edu­ca­tion in a bad soci­ety is a con­tra­dic­tion in terms. In short, in a soci­ety that is absurd, unwork­able, waste­ful, destruc­tive, secre­tive, coer­cive, monop­o­lis­tic, and gen­er­al­ly anti-human, we could nev­er have good edu­ca­tion, no mat­ter what kind of schools the pow­ers per­mit, because it is not the edu­ca­tors or the schools but the whole soci­ety and the qual­i­ty of life in it that real­ly edu­cate. This means that what­ev­er we do to improve the qual­i­ty of life, for any­one, and in what­ev­er part of his life, to that degree improves edu­ca­tion. More and more it seems to me, and this is a rever­sal of what I felt not long ago, that it makes lit­tle sense to talk about edu­ca­tion for social change, as if edu­ca­tion could be a kind of get­ting ready. The best and per­haps only edu­ca­tion for social change is action to bring about that change. The best and per­haps only way to pre­pare the young to work for a bet­ter world is to invite them, right now, to join us in work­ing for it. We can­not say, “we will con­cen­trate our efforts on mak­ing nice schools for you, and after you get out you can tack­le the tough job of remak­ing the world.” Nor can we define our­selves as Good Peo­ple whose task it is to defend chil­dren from All Those Oth­er Bad Peo­ple. There can­not be lit­tle worlds fit for chil­dren in a world not fit for any­one else. Once again, I am not say­ing what peo­ple so often say to me “We must change soci­ety before we can change the schools.” I am say­ing that soci­ety is the school; that men learn best and most from what is clos­est to the cen­ter of their lives; that men being above all else look­ing, ask­ing, think­ing, choos­ing, and act­ing ani­mals, what men need above all else is a soci­ety in which they are to the great­est pos­si­ble degree free and encour­aged to look, ask, think, choose, and act; and that mak­ing this soci­ety is both the chief social or polit­i­cal and edu­ca­tion­al task of our time.
John Holt

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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