This Article examines Ivan Illich’s critique of American schooling and suggested educational reforms in his book, Deschooling Schooling. Illich's critique is based upon his position that American schools are manipulative institutions based on the law of rising expectations which creates a growing frustration gap. Manipulative institutions foster consumer dependence on an institution’s service. Illich suggests schools be reformed to become convivial, allowing for individual agency that permits an individual to freely act as one chooses. Illich refers to this suggested system as learning webs or opportunity webs. The Author identifies problems with instituting Illich’s learning webs. Illich proposed that private property be severely restricted, an idea that many Americans would not support. Additionally, common standards for excellence or legitimate authority would be impossible to develop. To redesign a learning system in which standards and authority are considered, would result in the manipulative institution Illich wanted to eliminate.
Jared Gibbs, “FOR TOMORROW WILL WORRY ABOUT ITSELF": IVAN ILLICH’S DESCHOOLING SOCIETY AND THE REDISCOVERY OF HOPE, 34 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 381 (2012), https://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol34/iss2/4