Share via Email Ivan Illich, who has died of cancer aged 76, was one of the world's great thinkers, a polymath whose output covered vast terrains. He worked in 10 languages; he was a jet-age ascetic with few possessions; he explored Asia and South America on foot; and his obligations to his many collaborators led to a constant criss-crossing of the globe in the last two decades. Best known for his polemical writings against western institutions from the s, which were easily caricatured by the right and were, equally, disdained by the left for their attacks on the welfare state, in the last 20 years of his life he became an officially forgotten, troublesome figure like Noam Chomsky today in mainstream America. This position obscures the true importance of his contribution.
She read it decades ago and found it life-changing.
It is a critique of the formal, mandatory education system originally published in My thoughts on it can be roughly grouped under three headings: Indeed, development economics places huge emphasis on education as a route out of poverty.
In particular, that school both trains children to be consumers and reproduces inequalities by qualification gatekeeping.
In terms of his wider critique of capitalism, I liked this deconstruction of the ideology of progress: Not to go where one can go would be subversive. It would unmask as folly the assumption that every satisfied demand entails the discovery of an even greater unsatisfied one.
Such insight would stop progress. In fact, I systematically do better in exams than class work. Basically, I think his critique of schools goes to extremes I found too libertarian, whilst also making some very good points and proving an interesting new angle from which to challenge capitalism.
One chapter in particular made me reflect on postgraduate education and the PhD process. Doing a PhD really is self-directed learning, although mine may well have been more so than most.
I was given total freedom to shape my project and choose the methods and data I used, with very little input from my supervisor or indeed anyone else.
It suddenly seemed very cyclical, reproducing the importance of instruction. As Illich puts it: This reminded me that both myself and a high school teacher friend feel like we need to justify any original teaching approaches we use I always tried to slip in some critique of free market economics, for example by also ensuring our students get good exam results.
The space in educational institutions for non-exam focused learning seems to be small and shrinking, however.
This seems profoundly unfair and illogical: Quite apart from the fact that exam skills have little to no relevance in the world of work, let alone the rest of life.
I agree with Illich that practical tests of typing, for example are more useful to vet candidates suitability for a job than exam results.
Indeed, such tests seem pretty common — but only if the candidates have also passed the exam results hurdle.
The highway system does not similarly become available to someone who merely learns to drive. The former are [were once] true public utilities, whereas the latter is a public service for the owners of cars, trucks, and buses.
Public utilities exist for the sake of communication between men; highways, like other institutions of the right, exist for the sake of a product.Illich takes the opposite view: that learning is the human activity that least needs manipulation by others; that most learning is the result not of instruction but of participation by learners in meaningful settings.
Ivan Illich, (born September 4, , Vienna, Austria—died December 2, , Bremen, Germany), Austrian philosopher and Roman Catholic priest known for his radical polemics arguing that the benefits of many modern technologies and social arrangements were illusory and that, still further, such developments undermined humans’ self-sufficiency, freedom, and dignity.
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Russian: Смерть Ивана Ильича, Smert' Ivána Ilyichá), first published in , is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late s.
Evan Illich Philosopher. Write a critical evaluation of Britzman’s analysis of teacher education in Practice makes Practice - Evan Illich Philosopher introduction. Britzman tells us that student teacher’s begin their teaching journey by . Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest and critic of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects of the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, and economic development/5().
Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest and critic of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects of the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, and economic development/5.