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To detach competence from curriculum, inquiries into a man's learning history must be made taboo, like inquiries into his political affiliation, church attendance, lineage, sex habits, or racial background. Laws forbidding discrimination on the basis of prior schooling must be enacted.

from Deschooling Society, 1971, Ivan Illich (full-text available online)

I do not want to discuss the topic of Deschooling in general here. Assuming the institution school is something we want to deestablish, I would argue that the whole process boils down to the above quote.

People attend school to get certified to get jobs at companies who want certificates that people are qualified. Assuming that (which seems especially true in our present world with the world wide web) there are other means to obtain the necessary skills/qualification for jobs, the requirement of a degree issued by a state certified school seems to be one of the biggest discriminations today, which is not only tolerated but in fact supported by the state. But again, this is not want I want do discuss, it is just to get you on my train of thought.

Now, Ivan Illich's proposal of an anti-discrimination law seems to be the classic step to take. But the issue seems to be more problematic. While the two attributes of race and suitability for a job can reasonably be considered as independent (enough) to forbid the connection between them, this is obviously not the case between job qualification and suitability.

So it seems like there is a legitimate reason for companies to inquire about a man's learning history, which stands in the way of deestablishing schools. I am interested in ideas of how to resolve this conflict. Unfortunately I could not find very much about this in Deschooling Society. The only hint I could find was that companies themselves could/should be more responsible for training of their employees. But this seems to be an unnatural binding-together. And there are more problems involved: What if a person quits a job and applies for a new one which basically has the same qualification requirements - with a law as envisioned by Illich the new company would not even be allowed to consider previous work experience.

More general I think this is related to a balance in anonymity: If there is no anonymity you can be unfairly discriminated (you applying for a job with your learning history), if others are completely anonymous you cannot trust them (you trying to hire someone while you are not allowed to inquire their learning history). My question is: What other, maybe more recent, resources are there that deal with this problem (the more specific to deschooling, the better)? Personal thoughts on how to resolve this issue are welcome as well.

p.s.: the anonymity <-> trust issue seems to be related to cryptography and stuff. I like math. You are my hero if you can fit this into a mathematical framework!

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closed as too broad by Joseph Weissman Jan 9 at 18:31

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