ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

Do We Need Formal Education at All?

Do We Need Formal Education at All?

Despite the esteem in which it’s held, education is as hotly contested and ideologically riven as any other field of human endeavour, probably more so than most.

Much of the disagreement stems from the troublesome fact that there’s little consensus on what education is actually for.

In most developed societies, school is taken utterly for granted and, like death, taxes and other things that are unavoidable, we often view it with a mixture of resentment and disdain.

I look back at my own time in school and remember it as being three parts mind-numbing tedium to two parts social battleground.

I wasn’t a good student. I didn’t know how to study and I wasn’t at all sure why I was there. By the age of 13, I had started voting with my feet.

My free bus pass became my ticket out of school, and for months at a time, I would leave home in the morning in my school uniform and catch the bus into central Birmingham.

And where do you go if you’re a 13-year-old with no money in the middle of England’s second biggest city? The library, obviously.

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