Deschooling Religious Ed, written by Sam Rocha, makes me want to shout: See? It’s not just me – anyone who looks at the history, the practices and the outcomes of modern schooling can see it:
Society itself can at times seems like nothing other than a school. The world has become a school, with discipline and pedagogy everywhere. We are taught how to shop and how to live and where to go to have a good time on billboards and flashing textbooks. Our cars and our glasses and our toilet paper are all included. The world as a school is a place where no person can be trusted — everyone must be trained and formed and protected from themselves.
Algorithms predict our desires. Oracles. Someday, we too will become programmable computers.
The generic idea of school is harmless and old. The modern version, beginning with the Prussian research university, followed by the Prussian compulsory schooling system, the first of its kind and a blueprint for the United States and now the rest of the world, is an extension of the now-failed political project of protestantism, modernity, colonialism, and (neo)liberalism.
You can see school in the prison, the hospital, the buildings and programs that divide and herd and apply newfangled technologies of disciplinary cafeterias.
Salvation today is given in degrees and diplomas and credentials. God is dead because we sent him to school, too.
In our parishes and churches, the sacraments have been thoroughly schooled. We treat them as we would a high school diploma. A religious credential. A passing grade.
Catechesis, then, has become the required schooling for the credentialing of the sacraments. This is the logic of most religious education nowadays, even the ones that seem to be thoughtful and alternative thinking. Even the nice people who give up their time. Volunteers.