Illich, I. (1970). Deschooling Society. Cuernavaca, Mexico: CIDOC. Downloadable from: http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich/Deschooling/intro.html
p. 29 “If there were no age-specific and obligatory learning institutions, ‘childhood’ would go out of production.”
It is real responsibility, in real life situations, with real consequences that enables maturity to develop. Continuing to shelter young people beyond their childhood is to perpetuate childhood. This is what compulsory, age-segregated schooling does; it perpetuates childhood into ever extending age groups. And how can this be measured? It is measured by the level of Social Welfare dependence. Children depend upon others to care for them. Adults take responsibility for their own lives.
Institutionalized children, become dependent upon the institutions of the culture, the major one being the Social Welfare System, and an example of others would include the hospital system.
This is why Illich insisted that there needed to be a deschooling of society. It is not just the institutionalizing of education that is the problem, it is the institutionalizing of everything in society. It all leads to dependence, which is a manifestation of immaturity at a whole range of ages beyond childhood.
Maturity is taking responsibility for your own affairs, and not depending upon others or an institution to look after you.
“Therefore let us … go on to maturity [taking on the responsibility for your own affairs] …” wrote the Apostle Paul (Hebrews 6:1).