Deschooling is a form of education reform that seeks to replace traditional schooling with a more learner-centered approach. This concept is based on the idea that traditional school systems are inefficient and outdated, and that the current educational system does not adequately prepare students for the future. Deschooling advocates for a more holistic, self-directed approach to learning that emphasizes the importance of autonomy, self-expression, collaboration, and problem-solving. This article will explore the concept of deschooling, its history, and its implications for the future of education.


The concept of deschooling originated with the work of Ivan Illich, an Austrian philosopher and educator, in the 1970s. Illich argued that traditional schools are oppressive and fail to provide students with the kind of education they need to thrive in our ever-changing society. He proposed that educational reform should focus on providing learners with more autonomy, allowing them to pursue their own interests and develop their own skills. Illich’s work inspired a wave of deschooling theorists, including John Holt, John Taylor Gatto, and Paulo Freire, who have continued to advocate for a more learner-centered approach to education.


Deschooling has several potential benefits for learners. By removing the traditional structure of schooling, learners are given more autonomy and freedom to pursue their interests and develop their skills. This allows learners to pursue their own educational goals and develop their own unique paths of learning. Additionally, deschooling allows learners to develop a more holistic understanding of the world, as they are exposed to a variety of learning experiences and perspectives. Finally, deschooling encourages collaboration, as learners are encouraged to work together to solve problems and create solutions.


Although deschooling has many potential benefits, there are also some challenges that need to be addressed. For example, learners may find it difficult to stay motivated and focused without the traditional structure of school. Additionally, deschooling can be expensive as learners may need access to resources such as computers and books. Finally, deschooling requires a significant amount of time and effort, as learners must be self-directed and take responsibility for their own learning.


Deschooling is an important concept that has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about education. By removing the traditional structure of school and replacing it with a more learner-centered approach, learners are given the opportunity to pursue their own interests and develop their skills in a more holistic manner. Although deschooling has its challenges, the potential benefits make it an attractive option for those looking for an alternative to traditional schooling.


Illich, I. (1970). Deschooling society. Harper & Row.

Holt, J. (1977). How children learn. Dell.

Gatto, J. T. (2003). Dumbing us down: The hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling. New Society Publishers.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum.

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