(Un)fixing Education

Kuntz, A.M. & Petrovic, J.E. (2017). (Un)fixing Education. Studies in Philosophy of Education, 37, 65 – 80.

In this philosophical article, Kuntz and Petrovic introduce the concept of unschooling as a possible panacea to fix the broken spaces of school. They see school as an extended bureaucratic process, one that is fixed on a current system of rules, grades, and classroom-based instruction. Unschooling is then introduced as the most democratic type of education – based on the work and ideas of Illich and Holt.

Overall, Kuntz and Petrovic (2017) posit that if we really want to reform schools, there needs to be some significant changes. Specifically, the authors would like to see more play, and more infusion of community within schools (field trips are great examples, but we can take that notion of “infusion of community” way further). Kuntz and Petrovic would also like to see schools less fixated on grades and test scores (something Alfie Kohn has been a proponent of from the very beginning). Finally, the authors call for more freedom of movement and freedom of communication within schools. Radically public schools would move way beyond the classroom walls – to further engagement with the natural world and with the community around them (both referring to “people resources” as well as “volunteer/work-based resources”)

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