Deschooling Society

Today, when people consider “learning”, they equate it with the school system, which provides opportunities for them to learn. Thus, anything learned outside of school is ignored by society. Possessing good education means receiving a degree from school and therefore, the system of school monopolizes education as the only place of official learning and abolishes other learning. According to Illich, educational background shows only the process, what you are taught but not the quality of what you actually learn. Originally, schools were established to give people equal opportunities, however, they now create levels among people. These levels are determined by whether or not one obtains a diplome. Illich denotes the term “school” in chapter 1 as institutionalization in not only education but also the other institutions such as hospitals, welfare institutions, police and so on. As people depend on the institutionalized society, they become more dependent on its supposed value and start recognizing independent learning as irresponsible and uncreditable.

PDF Download

Share this page

Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Pinterest icon
Reddit icon


An address by Monsignor Ivan Illich to students about the deep dangers of paternalism inherent in any voluntary service activity.

Learn about the art of sponging to pursure your dreams and join the Sponge Club.

New publication from Zero Waste Udaipur for social entreprenuers and local communities.

Some symptoms of TEDxitis — the disease of watching too many TED talks.

Here is a little Indianized adaptation of The Animal School: A Fable by George Reavis from the 1940s.