A Quite Interesting proposal for education
Think about that list of great men who barely went to school: Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, William Cobbett, John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell. Our most independent thinkers were more or less self-educated. You will also find that the best schools – for example, Eton and Westminster – have the shortest terms and do the least teaching, a paradox that would suggest we need less formal education all round.
In the QI edition of The Idler, Lloyd and Mitchinson present a five-point manifesto for educational reform.
“There would be no work, for a start,” said Lloyd. “It would all be play. Plato said that education should be a form of amusement. That way you will be much better able to discover the child’s natural bent.”
This approach is in direct contrast, of course, to the largely Gradgrindian approach common to most schools. As Mitchinson points out, it is actually a method of containment: “There’s that great line: you’re taught for the first five years of your life how to walk and talk; and for the next 10, you’re told to shut up and sit down.”
For Mitchinson, schools have turned into wage-slave production farms rather than places of learning....