Civic Education and Teaching at Home

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4 Responses

  1. shg says:

    “Abolishing families’ right to opt out of public instruction is too close to the state’s ideological conscription of its children.”

    Excellent line.

  2. Brett Bellmore says:

    “Coercing all children to attend to agents of the state, who will explain to them what it means to be a citizen, models for children a grossly illiberal civic orthodoxy.”

    I think that’s actually the point: The people who want to ban homeschooling don’t want citizens, they want subjects. They want to stamp out the notion that you’re not owned by the state, that at some point you can, you should, say “no” to the state.

    It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

  3. Joe says:

    #2 isn’t overkill at all.

    I think homeschooling should be allowed and all, but putting aside the concern for diversity and other things that public school has to offer, we aren’t even talking about THAT. Not allowing homeschooling is not the same thing as not allowing parochial and private schools. It is the fear that children will not get adequate education from home education.

    How this is about making people into “subjects” is a bit unclear to me. “At some point” exaggeration might be a feature, not a bug, of Brett’s posts.

  4. Aaron Saiger says:

    Brett’s position could be read to suggest that the state has no right to intervene in parental preferences regarding their children’s education. If that is his claim, I would dispute it. I subscribe to what is certainly the dominant view in the United States that the state depends on educated citizens and therefore properly exerts some jurisdiction over pedagogy, even in opposition to parents. The line of liberty is respected, I think, if the state can set (and enforce!) curricula. But forcing children into state classrooms with state teachers, and with no opt out, is inimical to liberty and pluralism.

    I hear Joe’s point about fears of inadequate education at home. But I harbor similar fears about private schools, and for that matter about public ones.