Right to Learn: Excerpts from ‘Abolish Compulsory Schooling’

Right to Learn (‘Rätten att Lära)

Excerpts from Abolish compulsory schooling! (Slopa skolplikten!)


Abolishing compulsory schooling would of course mean that we adults have to let go of all thoughts of controlling learning and that we began to trust that our children and young people are capable of not only defining what they need to learn, but that they can actually do it. No, not all children would learn the same things at the same time, but why would they need to? We are all different with different interests, talents and passions. Where is the logic in forcing everyone into the same shape? How much of what you had to learn in school do you remember today? How much of it do you actively use in your life? Is it really reasonable for ten years of our children’s and young people’s lives to be used in this way? It is a huge waste of resources of time and energy that should be used more constructively. Those who suffer are, of course, the children and young people who are stuck in a system that the adults are convinced is necessary. This is what compulsory schooling is about: adults’ need for control over children’s freedom and the right to self-determination.

The truth is that all people are born curious and eager to learn. And all people are creative when they have the opportunity to develop their talents in the way they decide. We also know that learning is most effective when it is guided by an inner motivation where the person himself must take the initiative for what and how he wants to learn. We also know that teaching is not a necessity for learning to take place. We at Tillit believe that there should be a much greater flexibility around children and young people’s learning opportunities than those we see today. But to get there, we must change our view, put the needs of the individual first, confront our fears and begin to trust that the drive to learn is something that is innate in every human being. It requires that we deeply realize the extent to which learning is a by-product of all human activity. It is almost impossible not to learn. We constantly learn from just about everything we do. We just have not learned to notice it, value it and appreciate it for what it is.

Based on what the current situation looks like, it is required that the “school” should adapt to the students’ needs, but we all know that this happens only in exceptions. If we let go of control, let compulsory education go to the grave and replace it with the ‘Right to Learn’, we could open up an incredible amount of alternatives where our children and young people can learn what they want and need, where, when and in ways that suit everyone best. Homeschooling, unschooling, democratic schools like Sudbury or Agile Learning Centers would serve as good alternatives, just like in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and many other countries that have realized the value of diversity in learning. One size does not fit all. There are many ways to go. We want to overcome the obstacles that set the wheels in motion for free learning.

Visit Tillit online at https://www.tankesmedjantillit.se

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