Deschooling Society

[Image credit: @inspirepassion]

In 1970, when Ivan Illich wrote Deschooling Society, there was no Internet, no Twitter, and no CLMOOC. Yet his writings about the need to disestablish schooling and instead to create opportunities for interest-based learning are strangely prescient, and we – many of us educators now – find ourselves with a desire to return to Illich’s original text and ask:

What would Ivan Illich think about CLMOOC?

As ever, we find activities like this all the more enjoyable and enriching when a variety of voices join the conversation. So this is an open invitation to the internet to join us as we use to annotate an online copy of Deschooling Society together.

Here’s some questions we might think about as we engage with Illich:

  • How do the principles of connected learning apply to Illich’s writing?
  • What do you think is wrong with our educational system? How does Illich answer that question?
  • How might CLMOOC be an answer to Illich’s critique? Are there other answers?
  • How might you change your practice in the light of Illich’s writings?
  • What would Illich think about Genius Hour, Hour of Code, Inquiry-Based Learning, OER? Might they help us to answer his challenge?

Don’t fancy using As always, you can participate in this however you like. Here’s a few ways we’ve thought of, but do feel free to come up with your own:

  • Take a passage from Illich that you find particularly relevant, and share it with us as a quotation, or by illustrating it in some way,
  • Remix some of Illich’s words into a poem, or a song, and share it with us,
  • Put out an invitation for a collaborative activity and see who responds. Share the results of your collaboration in the usual spaces,
  • Use Illich’s writing for the inspiration for a postcard, or a round of postcards,
  • Write to your Education Minister and tell them what’s wrong with the education system

The beauty of tools like is that anybody can join in anytime, so we are not putting a time limit on this activity – dip in and out as you like. However, as usual, do feel free to post whatever you do in all the usual spaces.


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