Talk:Ivan Illich: Deschooling Society/Learning Webs

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Has anyone else read this far?[edit source]

All right, I volunteered to read the chapters out of order to see if they made sense and I chose to read this one next because I was quite interested to see Illich's ideas for solving the problem. I discovered that yes, the chapter does stand on its own, and you can read the chapters out of order without being totally confused.

Most of what was discussed in this chapter made sense to me and I agree with it; however, there are a few things I don't quite agree with. For example, Illich suggests that we should offer a tax break to employers who hire children "if the circumstances are humane". I don't agree with that. It would be near impossible to set it up in such a way that we could ensure children would be safe, would be learning, and would be happy. Even now we are having problems in this country with child labor. If it were legal in any form, it would only increase the ease with which children could be exploited.

However, I have no qualms with trying to adopt those of Illich's ideas that I agree with and dropping those I do not.

I certainly see great hope in Wikiversity as a possible way of bringing about the realization of some of those ideas. We now have the technology to do all the things he wanted to do; it is only a matter of setting them into place. Wikiversity is already beginning to do that. If we prod and poke it in the right direction, we can do even more. Take, for example, the network of peers that Illich envisioned. Well, we already have some similar things on the internet- type something you're interested in into google and see just how many communities pop up for it! But, unfortunately, much of what you find will be complete rubbish. Wikiversity can provide more thoughtful, reasoned and honest peer-to-peer interaction, combine it with a skilled educator, combine that with free materials, etc. In such a way we can be all the different things Illich envisioned and more. What we have to do now is learn what is still needed and also learn the very best ways to provide what is needed. I think the best way to go about this is to strive to make participants the main directors of learning projects and to experiment endlessly with new ideas. --Luai lashire 01:13, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Conspiracy Theory[edit source]

JWS refers to this chapter of Illich as a conspiracy theory but does not elaborate on this further. Illich claims that school "shapes the consumer who values institutional commodities above the non-professional ministration of a neighbor". Participation in Wikiversity: I've yet to run into anyone that has been paid to work/participate/ministrate in Wikiversity. That's not to say that I won't or that there aren't already some users who are paid and as part of their jobs they create resources here; or, that have commodified one of the resources for resale (the film making course could be nearing this point and I think there's already some pay for text associated with it ... not sure.) And, Wikiversity is not a degree granting organisation. So on the scale of institutional commodities, we have some baggage, but not all that many commodities. We do have therefore, a lot of non-professional (not paid) ministrations by individuals that are actively involved in a form of Networked learning. TBC... Countrymike 07:41, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Learning Webs and Web Services[edit source]

One of the most intriguing things about reading Deschooling Society in 2009 is the connection between Illich's vision and the computer technology of today. As Luai lashire has pointed out, the technology is readily available to realize the institutions Illich had in mind. Take one of the four services comprising his learning web - the peer matching service. A participant enters current learning interests "into a computer" - for example, a book which she has just read and wants to discuss with other readers. The service returns contact information to people who entered a matching request. This could easily translate into a modern web service, possibly incorporating typical social networking functions. The results could be filtered for locality, so that it is possible to meet in person. On the other hand, chat, video conference or other forms of communication might work over large distances. Does anybody know whether there are projects resembling such a service? If I may use Wikiversity for now as a peer matching service: Anyone interested in exploring and discussing the prospects of this idea, please contact me. --Deschooling 20:37, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Mentorship website?[edit source]

I suspect that Illich's first three learning webs are already on their way to being realized via the internet, though the professional educator / mentorship web is still pretty dormant. What would a good deschooled mentor/mentee matching website be like? Do any already exist? If such a website were to be established, do you think it would further popularize a deschooled approach towards education?

Keegan --Keeganwade 18:37, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

I haven't looked at it that closely but I wonder if Livemocha might meet this type of mentoring/social learning web. Countrymike 04:23, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Is it possible that new technology must come first?[edit source]

The limitations of technology are its designers and users. The design reveals the bias of the creator, much like jokes reveal the subconscious of the person telling them. Participatory design of schools might solve some of these problems. there is a last wrinkle however. What if you don't know what you need, because you have not reference for the innovation yet.

Ivan Illich has a nice answer to this i think.

"The planning of new educational institutions ought not to begin with the administrative goals of a principal or president, or with the teaching goals of a professional educator, or with the learning goals of any hypothetical class of people. It must not start with the question, "What should someone learn?" but with the question, "What kinds of things and people might learners want to be in contact with in order to learn?" (illich, ch 6, para. 22)