Individual and Institution in Politicized Family Choice

3 09 2007

and how the tension between them affects everything, from home education and schooling to personal faith and organized religion . . .even life and death. Legal & Legislative Forum

In news coverage of the Schiavo case, one story detailed its individual versus institutional tensions, and even showed them reversing position over time. I wonder if the personal and institutional tensions in education are having a similar reversal, from similar influences:

* involvement with a “cult of experts” who may not agree between
themselves or with family members, and whose professional interests can
conflict with individual or family interests

* mistrust of strangers and large, impersonal institutions;

* subjective personal standards of morality, pragmatism and respect for
human life and dignity
, coupled with a sense that one’s personal views
are too important for “compromise” of any sort;

* lay people latching onto complex (or misleading, even purposely false)
ideas and information spread across the Internet
, ideas and information
fiercely held beyond all reason;

* the pendulum-swing nature of institutional change and public opinion;

* the rule-making, objectifying, standardizing thrust of government in
even the most personal, private human decisions;

* and as always — love and money, of course.

[In its 2007 poll, PDK blatantly describes education as money, not love. School authorities say parents, teachers and the public “have no choice” about that –]

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