”Market Education”

För ett par dagar sedan uppmärksammade jag en recension av James Tooleys bok om privata skolor i slummen. Nu vill jag uppmärksamma två bokrecensioner av en bok som heter Market Education: The Unknown History och är skriven av Andrew J Coulson. Boken går igenom hur utbildningen har sett ut genom historien över olika delar av världen.

Martin West för EH.NET skriver:

The first cases Coulson considers, Athens and Sparta, conveniently offer the chance to compare two contemporary societies with diametrically opposed models of school governance. Their educational systems serve throughout the remainder of the book as extreme examples to which subsequent systems can be compared. The complete lack of government regulation of education in Athens meant that anyone could establish a school, setting whatever curriculum he considered appropriate. The need to attract enough students to remain profitable, however, forced potential instructors to tailor their offerings to reflect parental demands and also required that they keep their fees competitive. The success of Athenian education, as reflected in its impressive literacy rates, economic prosperity, and immense contribution to the Western cultural tradition, can thus be attributed to the prudential behavior of its citizens in an open market for knowledge.

Education in Sparta, in contrast, was entirely the prerogative of the state. Boys were removed from their families at the age of seven and placed in state-run boarding facilities in which they received an education designed exclusively to prepare them for military service. In Coulson’s view, Sparta’s low levels of literacy, negligible contributions to science, literature, and art, and eventual economic decline are all directly related to the ineffectiveness of the state’s totalitarian approach to the socialization of its young.

James E Bond för The Independent Review skriver:

Coulson also reminds his readers of the largely forgotten record of English education in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and of early U.S. education. In England, the Industrial Revolution generated a demand for a new kind of education. People needed to be literate, and they needed to know more than the classics. The endowed grammar schools were slow to respond to that demand, primarily because teachers preferred their yellowed notes and schoolmasters felt no need to offer what might sell. As a result, “new tuition charging institutions grew and flourished,” many of which catered to girls (p. 88). The poor had few choices—their usual lot in life. Charity schools, sponsored by religious orders, or “dame schools,” where an elderly woman taught students in her home for a modest fee, did take in the poor, and “the freedom of families to choose among different teachers ensured that those who failed to meet the clients’ expectations could remain in business only a short time” (p. 89). In the United States, tuition-charging schools and charity schools educated the bulk of students until well into the nineteenth century.

Så de som vill läsa mer om alternativet mellan socialistisk och kapitalistisk utbildning, har nu ytterligare ett tips. Var så goda.

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