In this book Joel Spring traces the long tradition of libertarian opposition to established forms of schooling from Rousseau and William Godwin to A.S. Neill and Paulo Freire. He illuminates the central questions that have concerned radical educators: How can teaching encourage independence and self-reliance? Can rigid ideas and ideologies be avoided by radical educators? What is the contradiction between "schooling" and "education"? How does truly libertarian child rearing challenge the family structure? How can real learning free people so they can begin to change the world around them? Spring also discusses the ideas of several figures whose relevance to education is just beginning to be appreciated, including Max Stirner, Franciso Ferrer, Wilhelm Reich, and Tolstoy. Spring concludes with suggestions for what directions radical educational change might now take.
What People Are Saying
"I find it powerful and liberating...I think this is a very valuable and important book." Jonathan Kozol
"Spring's book is unique. It stands serenely outside the muddy stream of literature spawned by the recent wave of criticism to compulsory schooling. This is the only readable book I know which does so in simple language and with the clear-sightedness of the competent historian." Ivan Illich