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Position Paper on the Compulsory Nature of Schooling.

The compulsory nature of schooling has been accepted as the normal, necessary state of education today. Since its mass acceptance and inception throughout the 1800’s, it has been regarded as a necessary part of our society.[1] Few have questioned under what authority the government has enforced compulsory schooling laws, and fewer still have taken any action to counter these laws. It is the EFO’s stance, however, that compulsory schooling is both a violation of human rights and is unnecessary. We believe that the origins and the basis of compulsory schooling are fundamentally flawed and the compulsory system is counterproductive to the ends we seek from educational institutions worldwide.

Around the world, civilized societies boast civil, often inalienable rights protected by the government. These rights, however, are blatantly disregarded when it seems productive to ignore them, especially when it comes to the notion of mass education. It seems to be a widely held belief that those not considered adults are not entitled to these civil rights, and that the state not only has the right to coerce individuals of a certain age into mass learning facilities, but they have the right to punish parents if they do not aid the government in this end. The EFO believes that the government does not have the authority they assert in this area and that all governments should cease and desist any further enforcement of compulsory schooling laws on the basis that they are contrary to the civil rights of the international citizenry, and on the basis that those under the age of majority are covered by any and all civil and inalienable rights.

Further, it is the stance of the EFO that the compulsory nature of schooling is unnecessary. It is widely believed that without compulsory schooling, youth would fail to gain an education and that this failure would be a massive detriment to our civilized society. It has been shown, however, that obtaining an education with today’s modern technology and today’s resources has become increasingly easy, and schools are not strictly necessary to preform the task of education.[3] In addition to this, it should be noted that motivation through coercion is not nearly as effective as other, more natural forms of motivation.[4] We have also examined the premise that today’s compulsory systems actually teach vital information necessary for life, and we have come to the conclusion that the majority of the information covered is not necessary for a successful life in today’s society, and therefore that it should not be required learning in a forced system.

It is also the position of the EFO that the origins of the modern compulsory schooling system are far from desirable, and the system in which all modern compulsory systems were based on happened to be, for all intents and purposes, contrary to the principals of freedom. We also hold that the way in which compulsory schooling was introduced and pushed into legislation was far from legitimate. The modern compulsory system is based on the Prussian model of education, which was created with the intention of indoctrinating citizens and creating a more docile citizenship. Further, a select few educators in the 1800’s campaigned for and pushed this model through after seeing its merits first hand in Prussia.[4] We believe that this system has lasted long enough, and while it may be true that our modern system is intended to educate and enlighten, we wonder why it is largely based on such a sinister model.

Recognizing these facts and opinions, the Educational Freedom Organization believes it is necessary to take action in the interest of mending these pressing issues. In the grand scheme of things, making these changes, we believe, would repair massive injustices and ensure a more individualized society better capable of critical thinking and individual thought. We believe that compulsory schooling is morally unacceptable and failing that, at the very least, ineffective and inefficient as an educating method.


[1] http://www.extremeintellect.co…..ation.html

[2] http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1084948?uid=3739864&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=47698783045687


[4]  http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED335729&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED335729

[4] http://www.school-survival.net…..cation.php

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