Whitehead, LeRoy E. (2007). Toward a re-thinking of mass public schooling: A personal exploration. Encounters on Education, 8(Fall), 203 – 219. Retrieved 7/15/13 from http://library.queensu.ca/ojs/index.php/encounters/article/view/581/769. (There is no notable focus on homeschooling in this article. Mentions homeschooling 3 or 4 times; e.g.: “There are a proportionally small but continually growing number of families and individuals who are abandoning the public school system and migrating to private schools, home schooling and online academies. These families and individuals cite a variety of reasons, …” (p. 205). “Indeed, part of the evidence for the existence of dysfunction in the public school system is the growing number of people who are already opting for other means of achieving education, such as private schools, home schooling and online academies. Some are also promoting plans that would fund individual students by means of vouchers to be used at any school, public or private, rather than funding the system” (p. 216). “I want everyone to be well-educated, because an educated citizenry is the bedrock of a free society, which I value highly. It does not follow, however, that I necessarily want everyone to attend school. Nor does it follow that one must attend school to be educated. Indeed, for some people, the technology of schooling impedes the attainment of their education” (p. 216). Argues publicly funded education must offer a wide variety of alternatives” (p. 216). “Abstract: Mass public schooling as we know it was one result of the industrial revolution. Its organizational form was heavily influenced by the ‘code’ of industrialism, the scientific management movement and industrial bureaucracy. While the promise of the philosophy underlying the use of the bureaucratic form in social institutions is tempting, the literature of bureaucracy indicates that bureaucratic organizations are most successful when certain preconditions are met, less successful when they are not. These preconditions are increasingly absent from our schools, school systems and the environment in which they operate. Hence, the bureaucratic form is increasingly counter-indicated, and its continued use may be a contributing factor in what appears to be a growing level of dissatisfaction with the system and dysfunction in the system. By recognizing a distinction between the terms ‘education’ and ‘schooling’ we may be able to move beyond mass public schooling to a situation in which the public is well-educated” (p. 203). “Though this essay has provided only a brief outline of the argument, I believe it demonstrates the need for a full examination and discussions of the dysfunctions and limitations of bureaucracy for effective education in a dynamic and constantly changing, heterogeneous society such as the one in which we now live. It indicates the nature of the case that has yet to be fully made that other conceptions of education and schooling, as well as other forms or organization for the purpose of achieving an educated society, must be considered” (p. 217).) (Keywords: bureaucracy and schooling, education and schooling, school organization, alternative education, Canada, mass schooling, institutional schooling, philosophy, homeschooling)
Toward a re-thinking of mass public schooling: A personal exploration
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