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#559#560#561#562 Episode #563 - Extended Childhood and The New World Religion
(Deschooling Society 2-3)



Sat 6 August 2011  John Taylor Gatto, Ivan Illich (reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This week we pick up with both recordings from last week, focussing on the establishment of what in our second hour, Ivan Illich calls the 'New World Religion', the cult of mass compulsion schooling. As Gatto explains, in the 20th Century, mass compulsion schooling served to create the most essential resource of all for US big business - a stockpile of radically incomplete, childish adults who could be counted on to mass produced and mass consume goods and services according to a schedule imposed by managers. Illich broadens the discussion beyond merely business and adds historical perspective.
In our first hour, we continue with last week's Gatto interview. What is the result of removing children from the real world and conditioning obedience to strangers? What did Richard Branson's mother do to him at age 4 (which would likely be illegal nowadays) that he credits as the single most essential experience of his life? At the end of hour 1 and into the second hour, we hear A Phenomenology of School, chapter 2 of Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society, in which he examines the social functions of the school, and why Parkinson's Law applies to schools; the more money is available, the more money is needed. Next Chapter 3, The Ritualization of Progress, address the self-justifying nature of mass-produced education, and its competitive nature, both within national societies and between them. As well as challenging the core belief that learning is a result of teaching, he also takes on other tenets of the religion of schooling such as that important aspects of education can be planned by experts, packaged for distribution by industrial processes and that their consumption is quantifiable. He concludes that the school system is a ritual which serves to disconnect people from the key contradictions of the modern age - for example, that eternally increasing consumption is desirable or even possible.
Thanks to Gnostic Media for the Gatto interview.
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