Monday, October 24, 2011

Education vs. Schooling

I think one of the things homeschooling parents have is a crystal clear understanding of the difference between education and schooling.  It seems like the vast majority currently assume that the only place children can learn is at school. 

Near the end of the classic movie "Wizard of Oz" Dorothy's companions are given what they were searching for.  The wizard gives the scarecrow a diploma and somehow magically it makes the scarecrow smart. 

In real life merely giving a student a piece of paper does not grant him an education.  Putting in your time at a public school does not make children smart.

Because often students who attend school do in fact learn, people get confused about the process.  Without thinking too much about it a belief develops that sitting in a classroom will make children educated.

Parents who homeschool have a much sharper focus on what constitutes an education.  They know that some of the things that make a person educated are:

1) Having useful knowledge: We teach our children math facts, historical knowledge and practical things like how to run a house.

2) Knowing how to think: We teach our children logic and consequences.

3) How to find and learn what we need to know: We teach our children had to search the internet and how master new subjects.

4) Striving for wisdom: We teach our children to continue learning and working to understand the world more and more.

Clearly there are parents with children who see a difference between an education and spending time at school, but my experience is way too many parents see the two as the same basic thing.


jugglingpaynes said...

That was always one of my favorite parts of the movie, even when I was a kid. I looked up the Wizard's quote, because it's a wonderful one:

"Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma."

That quote probably began my journey toward homeschooling. :o)

Peace and Laughter!

Henry Cate said...

Thanks for sharing. That is a great quote.