Home Education France Insists - Your Children Will Be Indoctrinated By The State

France Insists – Your Children Will Be Indoctrinated By The State

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This is one of those little dreams of the state bureaucracy – that all children, absolutely all, must go through a decade and more of indoctrination at the hands of the state bureaucracy. If any are to be free of this then how can the thinking of the entire society be controlled by the state bureaucracy?

This is one of the central points of Brave New World in fact. Another of those novels that people are reading as a guide rather than a warning.

Parents who home-school their children will face up to six months in jail under legislation intended to combat Islamist extremism in France.

The bill, unveiled yesterday, will make it a crime to teach children at home, in an attempt to prevent them from falling under the influence of religious radicals. More than 50,000 children are currently home-schooled.

Islamic radicalism is merely today’s excuse. Germany already has fairly harsh rules on who may homeschool and how. Actually, it’s illegal.

Donnelly has also represented a homeschooling family who still lives in Germany. Dirk Wunderlich says he and his wife chose to homeschool for several reasons. For one, they didn’t want their kids to be indoctrinated by the government.

That’s not allowed as a defence because of course the entire point of the insistence upon the state doing the educating is that indoctrination.

The second reason, Brügelmann says, was a desire to mix the classes.

“The upper classes – the nobles, the bourgeoisie – had, so to speak, bought the education for their children by giving lessons to their children through specially paid tutors,” says Brügelmann. But the Weimar constitution advocated the idea that all children from all walks of life should come together at school.

You may agree with that idea and you may not but it’s still indoctrination either way.

This is before we get to the harsher point, which is that home schooled kids often enough do rather better in any of the varied tests of education or even life. That is, the state bureaucracy is against the evidence that they themselves produce such a shit education – can’t allow competition that shows that, can we? Which is why the American education bureaucracy is so against charter schools, the British against private ones.

Abolish all the varied forms of competition to the state monopoly and that monopoly not only gets to propagandise the entire society it also can’t be shown up for the crap that it is. The saving grace here of course being that given the performance some do come through the experience unscathed.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. There is a risk, if you bring everyone up the same way, that your society will miss out on the benefits of variety. You can never know what skill-sets will be most valued thirty years hence, and only weakly know how well your education system is optimised to produce such outcomes anyway. In fact the more homogeneous your system is, the less ability you have to compare different parts of it to see what’s working well and what isn’t – you have to let a thousand flowers bloom just to see what is possible.

    If a few kids get brought up by nutty survivalists who teach them how to live off the land, rather than the standard school curriculum, they’re not so likely to thrive on the corporate ladder, but if a one-per-million apocalyptic event strikes, whoever’s left may be very glad that group’s skills were transmitted down the generations. I used to hate games at school but some private schools in particular have a very full diet of team sports. Modern state-sector technocrats might see such use of school resources as wasteful since it doesn’t directly boost academic grades or the school’s position in the “value added” league tables. If those sporty schools had been in such governmental hands in the twenties and thirties I’m pretty sure their emphasis on physical activity and situational leadership would have been eviscerated and the negative effects on British performance in WW2 would have been real.

    I do suspect that most homeschooled kids do worse academically than if they’d had a more conventional education although it’s hard to do a like for like comparison, since the homeschooled set are demographically distinctive in a number of ways. But that’s judging them by the kind of criteria “the system” focuses on yet they themselves are somewhat opting out of, so I’m not sure it’s fair. Similarly, a quick glance at some private school prospectuses will show their more holistic emphasis on “developing the whole person” rather than churning out grades alone. Whether you call it “indoctrination” or something politer, to insist everyone gets an identikit education really neglects that different folks may desire different strokes, and at any rate, complete equality will remain elusive when different families have different home environments, cultures, parental education and priorities.

  2. “will make it a crime to teach children at home”? Really? Or does it actually make it a crime to fail to send them to school? If it’s as stated, the schools will have to potty train them all, teach them to use a knife and fork, to speak, and to do all the things that children get taught at home normally.

    But regardless of the exact meaning, the idea that everyone must conform is one I would associate with extremists – not a nation whose motto is “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.

  3. France banned the burqa around 10 years ago. I think the result has been more Islamic home-schooling, as Mummy would prefer not to be prosecuted for walking her children to school or even waiting at a bus stop with the little ones is an offence. She’s unlikely to be able to drive the kids to class. Some take this garb very seriously. Unintended consequences.

    • So, does mummy never leave the house? Or is she OK going shopping or to the movies, but can’t take the kids to school without a burqa?

      • Shops and cinemas are private establishments. Frankly, I don’t know how this is managed, but I guess is the customer can arrive using private transport, which might be by car driven by a cousin. Little bit of prejudice there. There is a UN case (https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/10/1023872) which claims that the effect of the ban is home confinement though.

        • Bongo – still not making sense of this bit. If mummy has to home school because she won’t leave the house without a burqa, how does she leave the house to shop? Her religious sensibilities are offended only when she’s taking the kids to school? Allah said it’s OK to be immodest at the mall, but not taking the kids to school?

  4. Home schooling does not produce better academic results. The author clearly does not understand anything about the basic principles of economics. Schools use division of labour and specialisation of function (subject teachers) to produce high quality products at low cost. Perhaps he should read Adam Smith?

    • While one wouldn’t expect home-schooling to produce better results on average, for the reasons you say, I think Timmy’s correct both that there are alternatives to state-provided education that achieve better results (private schools often do, but it would be interesting to control this for demographic factors and the fact many have entrance exams) and there are some homeschooled individuals who go on to great success in life, academically and otherwise (there are some child prodigies whose parents decided conventional education is a waste of time for, for example). For the majority of home-educated students you’d expect academic results to be worse than if they went to school, but there are often personal reasons why parents decide to home-educate (eg that a child has been subject to severe bullying or has a mental health condition, or the parents have some moral objection to the syllabus) which mean they are prepared to accept lower academic grades because they value something else higher.

      • Don’t know why you think ” For the majority of home-educated students you’d expect academic results to be worse than if they went to school”, I’d expect the opposite.

        • Perhaps it depends on level of teaching. If you’re thinking about end of high school level, it’s unlikely your parents are graduates in every curriculum subject (or at least allied subjects) and in fact statistically most parents will not be college graduates full stop, so you’re expecting them to teach something which was perhaps their own highest level of educational attainment two or three decades ago. Compared to teachers who specialise in that subject (ie both subject knowledge plus pedagogical knowledge) the parent is at a substantial disadvantage. Difficult to afford specialist tutors in each subject – more expensive than a cheap private school anyway. Also for upper high school level you need reasonably extensive laboratory facilities (most people don’t have a fume cupboard at home!) and a decent workshop for design/technology/engineering work (probably more common but not universal eg doubt you’ll find many in high-rise urban accommodation).

          For lower level school where teaching is more generalist and at a substantially lower level than the parent’s own educational attainment then the benefit of one-on-one time and lack of class disruption might outweigh the disadvantages of not being a trained, specialist teacher. At upper high school level it’s trickier – I know a few parents who tried it and they struggled delivering even a cut down version of the syllabus.

  5. Home schooled kids in the U.S. do much better than those in the gov’t schools. It isn’t really a fair comparison, of course, the HS parents care enough about their kids education to go to a great deal of trouble & expense, whereas the parents of kids in gov’t schools are all over the map re: attentiveness. Somewhat true about charter schools and private schools as well.

  6. In the U.S. most HS parents opt out of the gov’t schools over concerns about the schools undermining their values or screwing up their kids. They don’t want their kids taught what wipepo suck, they should doubt their gender, here’s the best lubricant for anal sex, you should definitely try gay sex before deciding your orientation, etc.

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