Deschooling Society LO2056

Wed, 12 Jul 1995 09:05:42 -0600 (CST)

Responding to LO2022

Fred Reed postulates that "our cultural notion of school is
counterproductive [and] cuauses a visceral reaction unequaled in nearly
all other public debate" and that few among us would "defend the
predominent notion of school if it were suddenly dropped on us by aliens
or bovernment beurocrats." A recent speach by Dr. Terry O'Banion at the
1995 Inaugural Futures Assembly entitled "Schooling is Out - Learning is
In" reinforces the concept that current educational practices are bound in
"time, place, efficiency, and teachers themselves."
Dr. O'Banion's address focused on the massive reform movement to
improve standards, apply innovation, revise structures, and develop
alternatives to the existing school system prompted by "A Nation at Risk."
After a decade of "reform", little improvement can be shown, "The reform
movement has just been pruning the branches of a dead tree." Dr. O'Banion
cites as examples:

1) "The system is time-bound by credit hours and semester
courses...students are learning in blocks of time that
are artificial."
2) "The system is place-bound. Learning is initiated, nurtured
monitored, and certified primarily by teachers in classrooms
on a campus. We have experimented with distance education,
but while it has increased student access, it retains the old
model of education: distance education is a nontraditional
delivery system for traditional education."
3) "The system is efficiency-bound. Our model reflects in great
part the adjustment to an agricultural economy...When the
country changed to the industrial economy, education
responded by creating a lock-step, put-them-in-boxes, factory
4) "Finally, this system is teacher-bound, which may be its
greatest weakness. In education, we make the assumption that
one human being, the teacher, can ensure that 30 very
different human beings, one hour a day, three or more days a
week for 16 weeks, can learn enough to become enlightened
citizens, productive workers and joyful lifelong learners."

For those who are interested, a copy of Dr. O'Banion's address can
be found on the "On The Horizon" home page, under conferences.


      __(*)/' (*)_______________________________________________
      |                                                         |
      |    Peter L. Heineman, Manager of Contract Training      |
      |    University of Nebraska at Omaha                      |
      |    College of Continuing Studies                        |
      |    1313 Farnam Street                                   |
      |    Omaha, NE  68182-0335                                |
      |    (402) 595-2340  FAX (402) 595-2345                   |
      |    Internet:                      |
        What the mind of man can conceive and believe, 
        the mind of man can achieve.
            Napoleon Hill