I've concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress genius because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.
When you take the free will out of education, that turns it into schooling.
The primary goal of real education is not to deliver facts but to guide students to the truths that will allow them to take responsibility for their lives.
Individuality, family, and community are, by definition, expressions of singular organization, never of "one-right-way" thinking on the grand scale. Children and families need some relief from government surveillance and intimidation if original expressions belonging to THEM are to develop. Without these freedom has no meaning
I've noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers to care and do work very, very hard, the institution is psychopathic -- it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to a different cell where he must memorize that humans and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.
Children learn what they live. Put kids in a class and they will live out their lives in an invisible cage, isolated from their chance at community; interrupt kids with bells and horns all the time and they will learn that nothing is important or worth finishing; ridicule them and they will retreat from human association; shame them and they will find a hundred ways to get even. The habits taught in large-scale organizations are deadly.
What's gotten in the way of education in the United States is a theory of social engineering that says there is ONE RIGHT WAY to proceed with growing up.
Is it any wonder that Socrates was outraged at the accusation he took money to teach? Even then, philosophers saw clearly the inevitable direction the professionalization of teaching would take, that of pre-empting the teaching function, which, in a healthy community, belongs to everyone.
"Examples of Educated People" - John Taylor Gatto on CSPAN in 2009 - Free State Project
Weapons of Mass Instruction - John Taylor Gatto - Learning In Our Own Way
Pat Farenga hosted John at his conference titled "Learning In Our Own Way" in 2005.
Underground History Lesson With John Taylor Gatto
The New York Teacher of the Year (1991), John Taylor Gatto, says the most radical thing yet, in answering this question.
Are you ready to be free of propaganda from the school establishment?
He is the former State Teacher of the Year (New York, 1991)
Beyond Schooling By Hamza Yusuf & John Taylor Gatto