Teachers can aid learning. My own emphasis since joining Ivan Illich in deschooling has been to emphasize the possibility of auto-didacticism: learn to observe, learn to listen, learn to read, learn the library, learn your society, go!
The whole culture has certain teachers in common, however imperfectly we have them: Moses, Jesus … Newton, Darwin. I’m university trained (and have trained through universities), and I’m proud of my self-learning, my learning against the grain in some cases, but no one revers their special teachers more than I do:
I’ll devote some obeisance to each of them below, and mention others; but, first, a word or two from the deschooler.
Is the teacher showing you a subject, aiding your acquaintance with it, serving eventual mastery?
Or intruding between you and your target? Crippling you, rendering you dependent?
Who hired your teacher? You? Who pays your teacher? You? Who is the teacher really serving: you?
Who oversees your teacher? the Truth? God? the Royal Society? or a school board?
How much of what the school board teaches is actually subscribed to by celebrities in the field?
Put symbolically, who’s in charge of your exposure to evolution? Huxley? or Wilberforce?
That is, a “scientist” (trying his damnedest to get a handle on the subject) or a “priest” (repeating a known formual)?
If you are a minor, living with parents, in a nuclear family, and your father and mother send you to Salem College of Fundamentalism, I have no deschooling quarrel with your parents. But if a bureaucracy of the democracy is responsible for much the same behavior I have a huge issue.
We’re not always conscious of who we’re learning what from. I’m proud to be conscious of several clear intellectual leaders that are responsible for major aspects of pk. When I refer with honor to my “teachers” I do not mean any professors or instructors I encountered in college or graduate school, and I certainly do not mean any of the functionaries certified and hired by the state in public school. I mean: