Beware the biased propaganda!

It’s always helpful – uplifting – to get comments. Most come to me via Facebook, and I’m so grateful and moved to know this work is a help and is encouraging. That’s basically what I write for!

Not everybody likes it – obviously. But it’s also interesting to read other points people raise when they’re disagreeing with what’s written here. I appreciate anyone taking the time – they’ve clearly been moved to do so and other people’s feelings are important. I’m thankful to report I rarely get obnoxious comments which aren’t backed up by intelligent argument.

One such comment sticks with me though. It’s a while back now, written by someone entrenched in the education system who accused me of writing ‘biased propaganda’.

Once I got over the shock, I was totally bemused by the irony of it. For surely biased propaganda is exactly what the education system perpetuates?

All the way through a child’s time in school there’s an enormous bias: towards grades. These are less for the good of the child and more for the good of the system. Grades mean climbing league tables, which means more Points for schools, which means more funding…etc. And never was there such powerful propaganda surrounding the drilling of the children towards that outcome, than the emphasis on the myth that without these grades their lives will amount to nothing. Which is absolutely untrue.

We don't always have to stick to what we're told!

We don’t always have to remain on a prescribed route!

Good grades and qualification are certainly useful and a way of presenting proof of having reached certain standards which employers use as a benchmark. But they are not an entire education and not the only road to successful work or a fulfilled life. Anyway, ‘successful’ and ‘fulfilled’ need defining in individual terms. But schools fail to acknowledge all other routes than those which perpetuate their own desired outcomes.

And as big business takes over education, schools have another developing bias; towards perpetuating big corporate business! Consequently perpetuating the propaganda that this is the only definition of success or fulfillment. It might be for some, but not for all.

Then there’s also the mythical propaganda, which the system perpetuates, that leads people to believe that without schools, teachers, target led learning, and tests young people won’t learn anything. Also completely untrue. But the establishment bias is to keep everyone obedient to the establishment which they do by perpetuating these myths!

Home education is exploding these myths and dispelling this kind of propaganda. Out-of-the-system approaches encourage individuals to learn for learning’s sake and progress in ways that work for them however varied and diverse they may be, however broad and all-inclusive. It opens minds to a multitude of possibilities not available in the confines of the system.

Surely then, by it’s very nature, home educating is as far away from the narrowing of ‘bias’ as you can get? I admit there may be opportunities for bias, towards religion or academic cramming perhaps, when families choose to remain isolated. But these are very rare. Much more rare than the mass propaganda schooling perpetuates.

In most cases, home education gives youngsters the opportunity to free themselves from the narrow, biased, destructive competitive mentality created by schooling and develops in their education and their mind a creative, intelligent, innovative and open-ended attitude towards learning and life, equipping them with the skills they need to contribute to the working, social, achieving world, business included.

Surely the bias comes from the narrow minded people who fail to acknowledge that!

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7 thoughts on “Beware the biased propaganda!

  1. When I first started reading your blog I got a bit worried that you were such a campaigner for home education that you were criticising anyone who believed in or used the school system and that you were totally biased against the state and that it was all evil. However over the years I have read more, got to know you better through FB and got to understand you better and to love what you say. We all have a choice we can make and recently I posted some comments on a FB thread where someone said it is not always possible to home educate due to family economics. I said that it is ALWAYS possible but not easy or comfortable. But anything can be done if you want to (I am still working on that ladder to the moon).

    • Thank you very much John. I’m very moved by what you say – you’re most kind. I certainly don’t feel the system is all evil – how could that be? It works so well for the majority of families. In fact I totally support the idea of an inspiring place to go, for children to learn and be encouraged and broadly educated, and have a chance to extend their personal skills and horizons, within a community of people who totally support their personal development, as I perceive education should do. It’s just that the system has got this so horribly wrong with it’s slant towards continual testing and abandonment of the individual and their diverse needs. I agree with your comments; we have choices but they’re not always easy! Many thanks for your warm support.

  2. I’m on the fence with this one was Ross.

    I definitely believe grades are important, but I might be the biased honor roll graduate. However I can also tell you homeschooling played a huge roll in setting the educational foundation for those grades. My mom homeschooled me in the evenings, but I still attended regular classes. I started school at 2, and was in college by 16.

    At the end of the day, we’re all biased towards what has worked for us, and what we think is right. I’m really amused by how quickly Americans (I’m assuming, as that’s usually the case) rush to use serious words like propaganda for something as simple as someone’s opinion on their own blog..

    • Thank you so much Alexis for such an insightful and balanced comment. I agree; we’re bound to be biased towards what works for us. But I think that you’ve outlined an ideal educational package in your own upbringing: flexibility! Everyone needs the opportunity to use as many diverse routes as work for them! Really appreciate your comment.

      • Thanks Ross! Always a pleasure to share with you. You’re right. I did have a diverse educational background. I definitely credit it for my success so far.

  3. Reblogged this on School Refuser Families and commented:
    Home Education can be a ‘lifesaver’ for many families with a school refusing child. Many people worry about the effects of missing out on school-based learning or gaining certain qualifications but, as Ross argues, these worries are mostly based upon the way we have been conditioned to believe that ‘Education = School’.

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