All Schools Private (and That’s a Good Thing)

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Most people across the socio-political spectrum agree: an educated society means a better society for all. This is why Copiosis considers Education one of the Five Necessities that everyone can access at no cost.

In Copiosis, an appropriate education for a community’s children is whatever a community agrees upon that generates Net Benefit Value (NBV). If a community feels that a technology and science-oriented curriculum best generates NBV, that is the schools’ focus. Other communities may prioritize arts and humanity, social sciences, or even religious instruction. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything – to anyone.

The Old Paradigm

Educators designed our current system in the 19th Century. Back then the Western world transitioned from an agrarian economy into an industrial one. Factories required obedient workers trained to do specific tasks on rigid schedules. Less important, but still significant, was indoctrination: preparing children as citizens allegiant to a nation-state. STEM education has not changed this paradigm, only its focus.

Things are changing rapidly in today’s post-industrial, high-tech world. Still the old paradigm persists. Funding still shapes what resources students get. Teachers still find themselves purchasing supplies out of their own pockets.

School funding comes largely from levies on local property taxes. Voters must approve these levies every year. The problems with this approach is obvious. Especially where property values are low, or districts where property owners resist tax increases.

Private schools certainly cost more. But are they better than public ones? While this debate continues, one fact remains: private schools do offer greater choice. But only for those who can afford them. And, like their public school counterparts, even private school teachers face limits. The grass isn’t always greener.

Copiosis Schools

What will ‘public schools’ look like in Copiosis? It’s hard to say.

Eventually, however, every school will not only be ‘private’ (meaning individuals steward the schools resources instead of a government) every teacher will be his or her own “decider”.

The ‘institution,’ or Educators Association, likely will design curriculum in collaboration with students, the community and one another in accordance with the principle of stigmergy.

This kind of freedom will mean every child will get education they want. Or at least what their parents think they should have. Until the child starts choosing for themselves.

When market demands and ‘job and career’ preparation no longer shape education choices, “learning” takes on an entirely new purpose: equipping children to explore who and what they are.

And that’s how everything gets better.

By K.J. McElrath

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