Illich, I. (1970). Deschooling Society. Cuernavaca, Mexico: CIDOC. Downloadable from: http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich/Deschooling/intro.html
p. 13 “A … major illusion on which the school system rests is that most learning is the result of teaching. Teaching, it is true, may contribute to certain kinds of leaning under certain circumstances. But most people acquire most of their knowledge outside school, and in school only insofar as school, … has become their place of confinement during an increasing part of their lives.”
In my dissertation (pp. 122 – 136) I argue that the office/ministry of teacher has a place in a society. However, teachers must function in their teaching roles as marketplace entrepreneurs, under the instruction of church officers, and engaging parents directly with free-market contracts. There must be no compulsion in the contractual relationship, no age or time restrictions and no restrictions to location.
Teaching has a valid role to play in the education of a student, but there must not be a prescription around who is to be the teacher at what particular stage in the student’s educational journey. This must be determined by the parent, in consultation with the child (in the case of older children). But there should be no impediment to others being involved in the teaching events.
When the compulsion is taken out of the equation, then teaching events also become learning events. When young people are engaged in things that they have a passion about, then they will be much more receptive to the teaching that is taking place — if teaching is what is needed for learning to occur.
It is true, most of the real learning that takes place is after the teaching has ceased. I think of driving a car, for instance. When I wanted to learn to drive a car, I sourced a driving instructor (a specialist teacher of a specific skill). This was a family friend who was willing for me to learn to drive in his car. He was not government trained, not government certified, not government supervised. He simply had a skill that he was willing to share with me, and my parents contracted with him to teach me what he knew. When he finished teaching me the basics, then I obtained my driver’s license, and then commenced to learn how to drive. It wasn’t until I was allowed to put the basics to unsupervised practice, that I then learned about driving in various conditions, at various speeds, with various loads, sizes of cars, etc. I enhanced my learning by adding personal experience and research to what I was taught.
Why does this have to be restricted to learning how to drive a car? Could it not equally apply to learning how to read, learning how to numerate and apply arithmetic to real world applications (such as shopping, trading, designing, etc.)?
Teaching does not have to take place in a school to be teaching. Teaching is not all there is to acquiring an education, but it is a valid part of the process. However, the validity of teaching is not realized by restricting it to the location of a school and the schooling process.