Friday, July 20, 2007

Economics, Demographics and De-Schooling

Terry comments:

I think that the question of 'where'housing and transport and politics will be addressed as alternatives become more popular as accreditation loses its stranglehold as parents struggle to find better futures for their kids. An alternative universe of choices is already out there as you so brilliantly point out. Those alternatives will become a parallel train that people will jump to. Eventually the old train will lose steam and stop and rust. Circumstances will make radicals of us all and noone can say when.

I'm less optimistic about this, because I see some extremely fundamental trends running in the wrong direction (as they have been for quite a while), particularly insofar as they make parents highly risk averse:

  • Fewer children per family;
  • longer lifespan;
  • "winner take all" economy;
  • "winning" dependent on intellectual skills.

This is not to say plenty of people won't seek alternatives, for a variety of reasons, some will be willing to go "all in" to raise future leaders of the "creative class," but I don't see a big upswell of middle class families looking for alternative modes of schooling. It is too big a risk, given the structure of our economy.

No comments: