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Thoughts out of School

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William Ray Arney

Schooling, Ivan Illich says, is one modern manifestation of the «mystery of evil». The essays in Thoughts out of School are observations of what happens to children and teachers-in-training as they go through the peculiarly modern institution of schooling. «Schools are so large in our lives that some of us never escape their reasoning or their practices», Arney writes. But through acute observation and by taking the reader back to the historical roots of commonplace terms like «development» and «character», Arney offers a way to think about schools, on the one hand, and about true education and learning, on the other. Arney’s surgical insights cut through the layers of contemporary eduspeak to reveal the bones of what all good teachers and parents want for their students and their children. Arney’s response to the mystery of evil that is schooling: «If we recognize the hopelessness of our reliance on schools, we might be able to hope for our children and ourselves again.»