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Schooling ≠ Education

by Eric Lumpkins

Making blind assumptions without taking the time to honestly and objectively observe whatever you’re making assumptions about can be dangerous and cause considerable harm. Take school and education for example. Today’s society widely assumes that education is synonymous with schooling and that to go to school is the same thing as to receive a quality education. This is a bad assumption.

Between Education and Schooling

Schooling is about memorizing and regurgitating the knowledge and information that someone else wants you to learn. It’s about passing various state-mandated exams. It’s about being a good, non-disruptive student who stays in line and does what you’re told. It’s like being in a herd where individualism, exploration, and innovation is stifled and shunned. It’s about putting your passions, your desires, and your authentic self on the back burner and allowing others to choose the course of your life. School is where deep thinking, creativity, entrepreneurialism, and self esteem die. School is where obedience, conformity, submission, self-silencing, confusion, and self-loathing is nurtured.

Education is about curiosity of the world. It’s about learning about yourself and what you love. It’s about being free, connecting with others, and expressing yourself. It’s about a desire to be more knowledgeable, skilled, mature, and open-minded. Education is an inherent part of life, as to be human is to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow.

To make education mandatory and compulsory is to destroy education. Education has to come from intrinsic motivation and a personal desire to learn. Compulsory education is not education, it is indoctrination.

How Kids’ Lives are Affected

What we should strive for is to allow kids to make choices for themselves. To discover their passions, to spend their time on the things they most value, and to learn on a individualized basis. Kids are smart enough to do this, authority figures just need to give them the space and empowerment necessary.

Today when kids are dragged through the public school system, many graduate completely skill-less with no idea of what their calling is. They then go to college, while accumulating debt, in hopes of finding themselves. Had they instead been empowered at a young age to discover their passions, practice good habits, and to begin building their desired reality, many young people would be living completely different lives, and I believe for the better.

Tradition and Progress

The world is changing rapidly. These are unprecedented times and no one knows what is possible. Schooling, by and large, does more harm than good. With the internet, technology, massive social networks, anything is possible.

Kids should be given much more freedom over the structure of their life and their education. They should also be taught valuable things, like social skills, emotional intelligence, reading, creative expression, and self-love. Schooling teaches irrelevant and often useless things, that will be inevitably forgotten. Let young people discover meaning in their lives by giving them decision-making freedom.

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