Talk:Compulsory education

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This article is not about compulsory education.

Compulsory education places a duty on schools and teachers to educate. Our laws require compulsory school attendance where parents are compelled to compel their children to attend school, where they may or may not be taught anything useful.

Education and attendance are not synonymous.

The issue is much more serious: What the state imposes is not education (to draw out what each child has within). There is only schooling with the purpose of training every generation to accept the social world as they find it.
Janosabel (talk) 14:59, 13 September 2013 (UTC)



These two wikipedia articles mention compulsory education in Judea from ~60 C.E: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


I deleted the section about schools in Scotland from 1616. If you read the pertinent section footnoted in the W article on education in Scotland, you will find that it does not say that these schools were mandatory. In fact, it says they exerted "moral pressure" to try and get the local inhabitants to attend. That's not compulsory education. (6Darentig - talk)

The fact about the Education Act of 1496 does seem to be compulsory, but could hardly be referred to as "modernity". Nevertheless, the "1616 Scottish Privy Council" part is still non-compulsory. (6Darentig - talk)

"Moral pressure" by government is compulsion. Ramorum (talk) 12:04, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

No it's not, particularly in 1496. You're talking about a government that had no compunction about having its citizens grusomely tortured and killed for what passed for "sedition". If they had wanted to make not attending school illegal, they would have. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iiago (talkcontribs) 02:14, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
The whole section about the UK ignores the Scottish system now as a result. Something should be mentioned given the importance of the seperate education system in Scotland. Quiksilver4Eyes (talk) 19:17, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Compulsory education[edit]

Compulsory school attendance starts at 6 and ends at 15. When someone turns 16, which means that person is no longer required to go to school. ( - talk) ````freeourminds

That's a matter of opinion.
Once again (at least in my country), no it's not. You turn 16, you're not compelled to attend school. End of story. There's tens of thousands of people who do it every year (most of them wind up in the trades) and last I checked, no-one has tried to put them in concentration camps. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iiago (talkcontribs) 02:18, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

A little support might be nice[edit]

Whatever the merits or non-merits of compulsory education it is largely popular around the world so it is strange that this article is 5% history and 95% criticism. I'm not sure how to integrate it but including some support might be a good idea, maybe as part of the history and in there much of the criticism could also be located. Then you could also have an effects section or something of the like which contains facts, praise and criticism about the effects of compulsory education

There is some conflation (see below) going on here and an absence of citation - who can say that compulsion is 'largely popular around the world' when it is so rarely discussed?
The Benefits section is small because all of the supposed "benefits" have no explanation of how or why compulsory education brings them about. Perhaps if someone could show how compulsory education has these benefits, it wouldn't look like something out of a grade-school persuasive essay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
The benefits section is small because, just that the benefits of compulsory education are small. (talk) 00:15, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I see no problem with the benefits section being small - it already covers most of what is "good". Compulsory systems are usually unquestioned, and the criticisms are relatively unknown. (talk) 10:25, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


There seems to be a lot of conflation (confusion of related issues) going on here, on both pages, and beyond - perhaps reflecting the relative youth of the institution in this culture. Are those who sing the praises of 'compulsory education' applauding the enforcement of the universal right to education, the compulsion itself, or the education which happens to result? These are important distinctions, for there is clearly a difference between education itself, which is a right, and the compulsion, seen by some as essential, and by others as an infringement of civil liberties. No-one denies that some parents and guardians unfairly deny children the right to education where it is not enforced, but this is quite different from a general acceptance that universal compulsion is therefore an inevitable summum bonum.

I agree, the righ to education is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, amongst others, and in international law the realisation of the irght to education does not mean compulsory education. I have taken the re-direct for right to education out. I think the two are linked, as many countries have thought to realise the right to education of every child by implementing compulsory education, but its not the same. So the right to education should really ahve its own article. --SasiSasi (talk) 19:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I think some of the confusion comes from the use of the words education and attendance as though they were synonyms. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights speaks to a right to an education, not to the power of the state to compel school attendance where students may or may not learn anything useful. ````freeourminds — Preceding unsigned comment added by Freeourminds (talkcontribs) 13:27, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

US bias[edit]

This article contains a palpable, perhaps chauvinistic US bias. It refers to 'public schools' (a term which can mean something quite different in the Commonwealth) and to 'the principles of personal liberty that this country was founded on.'

Perhaps the above editor will do it, not just complain. --Zeamays (talk) 23:30, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the anonymous editor only had time to identify the problem, and you only had time to give a snotty response.

Working to fix this slanted article[edit]

The topic of home schooling seems to be the driver for some of the highly POV material in this article. While the reasons for objections to compulsory education are a reasonable topic for debate, the facts are not. I have tried to correct several POV problems and omissions and to make it less USA-centric.

  • Ignoring private school options. Home schoolers who wrote much of the article have ignored that private school attendance fulfills compulsory attendance laws. They object to attending any school to fulfill requirements.
  • Confusion of publicly-funded schools and compulsory schooling. One need not attend any school to comply with law, as long as some approved curriculum is being taught, but much of the article seems to ignore this.
  • Implied criticism that public education (USA sense) is inherently bad. Prior to compulsory attendance in the USA there were no publicly-funded schools in many places, particularly the South. How was that a bad thing? For example there were no schools for the recently-freed slaves in the South. The South was dominated by a plutocracy that saw no need for general education and literacy (for poor whites as well as blacks). The writers are unaware that how important compulsory education was in changing this situation.

The "Criticism" section is badly in need of balance and needs the efforts of a knowledgeable editor who can provide the other side's story with good references. --Zeamays (talk) 23:30, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

"Confusion of publicly-funded schools and compulsory schooling." -- the problem is that they are very closely related issues. One is used to fund the other. Discussion of compulsory funding of schools (i.e. through taxes) therefore has a place in this article, perhaps with references to a "main article" with a more extensive discussion (is there one?).
"One need not attend any school to comply with law, as long as some approved curriculum is being taught" -- there are two problems with that statement: 1) Requiring "some approved curriculum" is still compulsion and 2) not all states'/countries' laws are friendly to homeschooling (for example, California and Germany).
"Implied criticism that public education (USA sense) is inherently bad." -- This is a commonly-held position with a lot of arguments from different perspectives. It is thus a valuable part of the discussion. Your "how was that a bad thing?" comment, if you mean "how is compulsory public education bad?", is representative of a blatant bias in favor of compulsory schooling, which has no more place on wikipedia than an unjustified assumption of the contrary opinion. Ramorum (talk) 12:25, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I'd delete almost everything in the criticism section and provide a link to the "anti-schooling movement". Currently the "criticism" section is the longest, most detailed part of the article. Compulsory schooling, like it or not, is a fundamental bedrock in most (all?) developed countries. This article makes it looks like there is world-wide agreement that compulsory schooling is an awful idea - and that's just not the case.
And BEFORE someone says "well why don't you make the edit instead of just talking about it?" I will...but it'd be such a huge change that I figure it deserves brief discussion before I go ahead and do it. (talk)iiago —Preceding undated comment added 05:52, 24 January 2011 (UTC).
"Your "how was that a bad thing?" comment, if you mean "how is compulsory public education bad?", is representative of a blatant bias in favor of compulsory schooling, which has no more place on wikipedia than an unjustified assumption of the contrary opinion."
You are correct that the comment shows a blatant bias in favour of compulsory schooling. You are incorrect that this is a problem. The purpose of an encylopaedias is to record the majority view - hence, wiki doesn't allow fringe theories or original research in its articles. This article is not trying to argue the toss about whether compulsory schooling is or is not a bad thing - it is trying to explain what the standard practice and view-points are about the topic.Iiago (talk) 23:26, 3 February 2011 (UTC)iiago

Compulsory education?[edit]

Don't you guys mean compulsory schooling? There's a big difference between education and schooling, they are not synonyms. (talk) 17:08, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

It is not called "compulsory schooling" in this case, because it may not be necessarily required to attend a school of some kind to receive that education. Perhaps I don't see why this should not be considered a synonym, as well. What are you worried about? I think the current title allows much more room for growth than "compulsory schooling". Commandur (talk) 18:27, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the title should be Compulsory Attendance. Students are compelled to attend a government approved form of school or to use a government approved homeschool curriculum. It isn't the same as compulsory education because that would put a duty on teachers to educate. What am I worried about? I'm worried about the government controlling the minds of future voters. I'm worried, as Justice Brandeis said, about the right to think as I will and to speak as I think. ````freeourminds — Preceding unsigned comment added by Freeourminds (talkcontribs) 13:35, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Please curb the lot of mental rant in the article![edit]

This article with the huge criticism rant section looks like as if being written by a survivalist wacko living up the hills in a wooden shed sleeping with a loaded gun out of constant fear of FBI agents coming to nab him. The author who composed this article is obviously paranoid and should get treatment. He is so afraid of the state, the state of his mind lost balance!

It is a matter of fact that compulsory schooling makes a country successful. Look at Japan and Germany, world class industrial powers due to their skilled labour. Even the USSR made a great progress from the misery of tsarist Russia after implementing the ten year schooling system. (talk) 16:21, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Wait, who's lost the "balance" of his mind now? Sounds like you, buddy. Ramorum (talk) 12:03, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

That guy sounds like a communist sympathizer to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Now now, folks. is entitled to his irrelevant fascist opinion. Let's wish our comrade a safe journey to the labor camps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:40, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Um, guys, how about a benefit and a criticism section? -->AP

Americans. (talk) 09:21, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


I removed a good chunk of the "Benefits" section, for several reasons. The whole section was riddled with false dichotomies and misleading verbage.

  • Higher percentage of literate people in the population
  • It prepares people for the schedule and effort that jobs demand.
  • An alternative to compulsory education is homeschooling, in which parents teach their children at home. Many parents are not familair with the subject material, so they cannot teach it. The children end up with no education.
  • Compulsory education is a babysitting service too. This allows parents time to go to their jobs, where they cannot take their children.
  • Though homeschooling might increase quality of education among some individuals, it reduces the quantity of people educated.

Most of these "benefits" present a false dichotomy. The picture painted is one in which there are two options for every child: either attend compulsory government schooling or have no education. Alternatively, be homeschooled (which one of the "benefits" mentions but others overlook). This is simply not an accurate picture of schooling. Many students attend private educational institutions and would do so even if doing so were not made compulsory by government. Homeschooling does not "reduce the quantity of people educated" -- what a ridiculous claim -- if they students who are not homeschooled attend some other school -- public or private. If parents desire a school as a babysitting service, they can achieve this by voluntarily enrolling their children in school in a system without compulsory schooling. Every one of the points above is addressed by a free (as in liberty, freedom, free will, voluntary, speech; not beer) system of education.

These arguments and others could probably also apply to the three "benefits" I didn't (yet) remove. Probably the section should be written to include some of the common benefits which people or governments claim, with citations, and clarifying that they are perceived or claimed benefits, not benefits. Also, contrary views should be presented in such a case. Any benefits of a general high level of education or literacy should be left out, since they are not benefits of compulsory education, as mentioned above.

Ramorum (talk) 12:15, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Gatto simply isn't that influential. There's no need for a blushing 4 paragraph rant on his work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SpartyMan (talkcontribs) 06:59, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, It Takes Up A Lot Of Time[edit]

I removed the "citation needed" tag next to the part where it says that compulsory education takes up a great deal of an individual's time. This is obvious, and no citation is needed. If you do insist on citing someone, cite me. (talk) 03:46, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Props for all the Criticism[edit]

Good job including all of those valid and respected viewpoints by opposers of compulsory education. (talk) 00:13, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Before about 1840, when the government-school movement began, America was a highly literate society. Publishing boomed in the young Republic. Hundreds of newspapers flourished. Books and pamphlets sold in the millions among a population of around 20 million. (talk) 18:12, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
...As long as you were White and rich and had a penis, anyway. Seriously? Seriously?
And that's taking your statement at face value-- I want to see a reputable source with numbers showing the US having a better publishing industry than other countries. Kith (talk) 02:13, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
a) Biographies and newspapers of the time show reading wasn't limited to white males.
b) Sales of books weren't necessarily better than other countries. Aside from newspapers, mega-sellers that spring to mind were Thomas Paine's Rights of Man (part II) in 1792 and Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). In England, Paine's tracts sold proportionally just as well, and prompted the C of E to print millions of Cheap Repository Tracts for the working classes, leaflets giving the 'correct' view of the social order (Paine's views were seen as dangerous in the aftermath of the French Revolution). The figures are there, but not as easily accessible or as reliable as modern sales figures. We need to rely on figures from publishers, newspapers, or (in England) parliamentary reports and debates. (My sources: E.G. West, 'Education and the State' and various primary sources not admissible to Wikipedia as it's original research) (talk) 10:39, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights[edit]

The UDHR ( at the UN Site: ) doesn't necessarily talk about the cumpulsion of people to attend manadatory education. The French and Spanish versions make a distinction between the terms "education" and "teaching", which the English version does not; it simply uses the word "education" in all parts of Article 26. From the French and Spanish, it appears to me (not having a French or Spanish cultural referent from the 1940's) that what is cumpulsory is the state's obligation to teach "elementary and fundamental" things. The French and Spanish versions, as delivered in 1948, don't even use the word "primary", which is the preferred term for the roughly 6-12 year old K-6th grade level of education (again, this may be my lack of a 1940's cultural referent for French or Spanish). I am inclined to remove the references to the UDHR and start a section that disambiguates the idea of "cumpulsory education" -- the achievement of state required learning objectives and the UDHR issue of the state's obligation to provide for the teaching of certain basic skills. June1969 (talk) 17:35, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


Those in compulsory education in America and the British Empire were punished if they spoke any language but English. This has now been reversed.

Patchy and heavily slanted[edit]

  • The article fails to present the current situation in major parts of the world. It does not even mention Germany, which is a notable exception to the rule that western industrialized countries allow home schooling.
  • The article presents the topic in a decidedly POV way. Section critisism makes for 3/5 of the article, while benefits is a mere five ite, list. This clearly puts undue weight to the arguments of the opposers.

-----<(kaimartin)>--- (talk) 22:41, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

less TV Tropes, more topics[edit]

The reason the criticizm section is so bloated compared to the benefits section is that the benefits section just lists ideas, but the criticism section lists sources and then goes on to explain all the ideas each source has ever said. (Presumably because people keep reading the article, thinking "ooh, I have one!" and then adding their favorite authors to the stack.) The result is redundant (points get repeated), not to mention mismatched both to the benefits section and to other well-sourced Wikipedia articles. The criticism section needs to be a list of arguments against compulsory education, with a little citation (or citations) after each statement. Ideally, arguments in the criticism and benefits sections should be explained in the exact same level of detail. Then the two sections will be similar enough that readers will stop yelling "bias" and start taking the presented arguments seriously.

I would do it myself if I had that much time, and access to a good number of the books listed in the article so that I could make sure not to misrepresent them. Especially the bit about the time. Sorry. Still, I thought I'd add this because somehow, nobody seems to have thought of it yet, and it's a lot more practical than just saying "you should prune some stuff from this section because I don't like it." This way, there's no need to cut out entire authors or arguments for the sake of making the criticism section look the same size as the understandably tiny benefits section.

Though I do suggest cutting out entire authors because what they have to say is too specific to America. A rewrite is also needed just to get rid of all the parts that imply only Americans are reading this article. After the cleanup, readers might feel it's worth their time to add information from their own contries. (talk) 14:20, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

What about unschooling?[edit]

Some parents choose not to school thier children at all, believing that the desire to learn will surface on it's own, should this be mentioned? The snare (talk) 10:30, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

No. I believe that's a fringe theory. Billions of children world-wide go through the compulsory education children in their respective countries. In comparison to that, I believe that the number of children who are educated via the "unschooling" method would be inconsequential and not worthy of note in this article. However, I agree that this topic could be addressed in one of the other articles that specifically address anti-schooling arguments. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iiago (talkcontribs) 23:15, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Cleaning up[edit]

I have done some cleaning up of this article. The 'By Country' section was a mess of history and current legislation, and the 'History' section was small and not particularly informative. I have added a couple of references to dates and tidied up the history section. Much more could be added but I felt a general historical overview was important. (talk) 11:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

The article is confusing in a number of different ways and talks about education when it really means schooling. For example, in the UK, while education is compulsory, school attendance is not - you would not grasp this important difference from this article. --Cameron Scott (talk) 14:06, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Conflicts in history section[edit]

There appears to be some conflict within the "Modern Era" subsection of the History. It currently reads:

"Compulsory education on this model gradually spread to other countries, reaching the American State of Massachusetts in 1852..."

and then goes on to say:

"Massachusetts had originally enacted the first compulsory education law in the American colonies in 1647."

Why the 200-year difference? Then the next paragraph begins:

"Compulsory education had not been part of early American society..."

So which is it? When did compulsory education get introduced to America and at what point was it widespread? Nosecohn (talk) 15:55, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Trimming the criticism section - Jan 2011[edit]

I can feel this will be topical, so I'll set my reasons out now before someone accuses me of vandalism.

As I (and others) commented in a few places above, I feel that the article gave undue weight to criticism of compulsory education. Rightly or wrongly, compulsory education IS standard across the developed world. This article is about compulsory education - its history, its spread and its predominience. As it existed, the article was, more than anything, an analysis of arguments against compulsory education. I felt bad deleting those arguments because (while I disagree with them) parts were well written, however the fact remains - that level of detailed criticism doesn't belong in this article.

To head everyone off at the pass - I am NOT interested in debating compulsory education, or the difference between "education" and "schooling", or ANYTHING related. The only question here is what should be in the article. Iiago (talk) 23:01, 24 January 2011 (UTC)iiago

After further consideration, I've gone ahead and deleted the entire criticism section. I've done this because I think the anti-compulsory education argument is a fringe theory, especially when considered in a global context.
Compulsory education is world-wide, and heavily entrenched in almost every (if not all) countries that can both implement and afford it. I have not heard of any serious move anywhere in the world to get rid of it once it's been introduced. Conversely, the "anti-schooling"/"unschooling" movement appears to be almost entirely US-based movement that's virtually unheard of anywhere else. So without meaning to insult the views of the anti-schooling proponents who have contributed to this article, I do not think that your views have sufficient support (particularly world-wide) to warrant mention in this article, particularly when compared with the ubiquitious belief in and practice of compulsory education.
I have however added the link to "anti-schooling movements" under the "see also" heading - I do agree that these views deserve a link from this page, just not specific mention.
The (shortened) criticism was re-instated with the comment that it should be included because it is "NPOV". I have just deleted the criticism section again, for the reasons outline above. I am happy to discuss this edit. As stated above, I think that the anti-compulsory education argument is a fringe theory that should not be included in this article, although I agree that it desereves (and has) its own article.
By comparison - look at the wiki entry on immunisation. The anti-immunisation movement has far more international support than the anti-compulsory education movement, and yet it's not even mentioned on the immunisation page. No-one seems concerned by this. Iiago (talk) 04:36, 21 February 2011 (UTC)iiago
I don't agree that the ideas of unschooling or deschooling are fringe theories and think removing the criticism section here is akin to removing it in the religion, conscription and utilitarian articles as well. Logan Tanner (talk) 01:59, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Ok. Would you care to elaborate? I would say that religion, conscription and utilitarianism are not relevant comparisons, because they all have a much higher degree of opposition. There have been (and are) governments that actively oppose those concepts (China, being communist, is opposed to religion and prizes the "state" above "the greatest happiness for the greatest number". Australian governments have opposed conscription). But I don't think you'll find any government, ever, that has been opposed to compulsory schooling. I would be surprised if you can even find a major political party that has embraced unschooling or advocated removal of compulsory education.

Finding a government, or political party, that opposes compulsory education is like finding a religion which opposes it's own churches. Logan Tanner (talk) 16:37, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
That's very glib, but not correct. Political parties are made up of individual citizens with political views, and often those views aren't in the direct interests of the government entity. For example, the Tea Party supporters in the US are against taxation and for limiting government power. If there were serious numbers of Tea Party voters who were also against compulsory schooling, then I'm sure that would get on their agenda as well.
Incidentally - there's plenty of organised religions that have had issues with individual churches. In fact there was a church here in Brisbane, Australia that was kicked out of the Catholic Church just last year. Iiago (talk) 23:32, 23 February 2011 (UTC)iiago

Therefore, criticism of compulsory schooling is not of sufficient weight to warrant inclusion in this article. I stand by my assertion that it is also a fringe theory, given its lack of mainstream support. Iiago (talk) 04:21, 23 February 2011 (UTC)iiago

Unschooling/home schooling has both provision in NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL law with at least 20,000 practitioners in England and Wales alone [1]. Given that there are no accurate worldwide figures and that this was our natural state for longer than the past 120 years I dispute your fringe theory assertion believing instead that the criticisms presented here are perhaps the most important available on Wikipeida given the absolute monopoly schooling has on shaping public understanding. Logan Tanner (talk) 16:37, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
It seems that you admit that (A) Compulsory schooling has "the absolute monopoly" on public opinion; and (B) that the criticisms that were listed on wikipedia are not readily espoused in the mainstream. Isn't that effectively an admission that opposition to compulsory schooling is a fringe theory? Being a "fringe theory" doesn't mean it's wrong, or even a bad idea, it just means that it doesn't have significant mainstream acceptance, and you seem to accept that it doesn't.
In response to your other points:
the fact that homeschooling is allowed by national and inernational law isn't relevant. Just because it's not illegal, doesn't make it mainstream.
Homeschooling isn't really relevant here. "Homeschooling" is a type of education/schooling, it's not relevant to the issue of whether education/schooling should be compulsory. Some homeschoolers might be anti-compulsory education, but it's really a separate issue. The few homeschoolers I've come across had complaints about perceived anti-Christian bias in the Australian school system, but didn't have anything against the concept of compulsory education itself.
On a side note, even if all 20 000 homeschool practitioners were against compulsory schooling, that's not exactly a significant opposition in a country of over 53 000 000. But that's really a side issue - my real point is that homeschooling isn't actually relevant to this article. Iiago (talk) 23:32, 23 February 2011 (UTC)iiago
I'd like to keep this discussion short and to the point please. We were talking about whether criticism of compulsory education should feature in this article. I think they should given the legal and philosophical objections an open society can make to it. You do not because you believe them all to fall under Wikipedia’s definition of a fringe theory - something I disagree with given the circular reasoning of not being able to criticise something which shapes majority opinion due to it's very existence.
Please reconsider your use of this guideline as further discussion here may not be very productive. Logan Tanner (talk) 02:53, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok let's keep it focused, although you are the one who introduced those points - I have responded only to the issues that you raised.
I do take your point that an idea will remain the majority opinion unless opportunities to express minority opinions are grabbed with both hands. I just don't think that wiki is that opportunity - it's an encyclopedia, not a platform to advocate views that aren't getting traction anywhere else. But it does seem that we're at an "agree to disagree" point. Iiago (talk) 23:14, 27 February 2011 (UTC)iiago
One final argument then if we can't agree on the fringe point. The tax article has criticism present which could also be seen as fringe and worthy of deletion. The same people who oppose taxation would also oppose institutional schooling. Most men are critical of taxation as most children are critical of schooling. Why on this basis do you think Wikipedia can't discuss the fringe benefits and criticisms of laws we have? Logan Tanner (talk) 01:55, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
In response to those points:
* I suspect that anti-tax arguments (ie. being oppopsed to all taxation) are also fringe theories, but I'm not as certain of that as I am for compulsory education. Anti-taxation seems to have support in the tea party movement, for example. Also, I am aware that people run court cases every now and again (in the US, and I think also in Australia) arguing that taxation is illegal. I've never heard of a court case trying to argue that compulsory education is illegal - or at least if they exist, they are far less numurous.
I think a big part of the problem we're having here stems from your use of the fringe theory guidelines. Nowhere in those guidelines does it say that legitimate criticism of our laws isn't allowed. Indeed it wouldn't be much of an encyclopedia if we couldn't compare and contrast different philosophical or legal ideas in the same article.
My point isn't that criticisms of laws isn't allowed, it's that criticisms with very little support shouldn't be allowed. So I have no issue with criticism being included on (for example) abortion laws, or the death penalty.
* I don't agree that everyone who opposes taxation also opposes compulsory schooling. I've met people who oppose taxation, they didn't have an issue with compulsory education.
Did they happen to say during these conversations where the money was coming from to impose these dictated curriculums?
Yeah, they thought the government should be funded by voluntary taxation. Yes, I think they're idiots. But they're entitled to their opinion.
* If, by the phrase "most men are critical of taxation", you mean most people are opposed to the idea of taxation itself, then I disagree. No-one likes paying taxes, but most people seem to agree that they're necessary. I agree that most people are "critical" of the way taxes are imposed, but that's not the same thing.
I meant critical in the way their government collects and spends their tax money.
* If, by the phrase "most children are critical of schooling", you mean that most children are opposed to compulsory education, well I would also disagree with that. Most kids don't like going to school, or they hate the way it's run. But most (at least the ones old enough to actually form an opinion) don't have an issue with compulsory schooling itself. Otherwise, all those kids would grow into adults that oppose compulsory schooling, and we'd have much stronger opposition to the concept than we do.
You would disagree with most children opposed to compulsory education but agree with most are opposed to going to school? Do you mean they like the idea of the state controlled understanding in theory but not in practice? Also 'the ones old enough to actually form an opinion' may have already been taught/indoctrinated into thinking that thinking heaven/richness or hell/poverty awaits them depending on how much they have successfully submitted to their institution.
No, I said they don't like going to school - there's a difference. I don't like going to the dentist, but I'm not opposed to it. And it's irrelevant why adults don't opposed compulsory education - the fact is that adult citizens run the world. If 99% of them are supporting compulsory schooling, that makes the anti-compulsory schooling movement "fringe".
* It may be correct that the majority of young children (such as ages 6 - 10) are opposed to compulsory schooling, but I don't think that counts. At the age of 10, I also would have voted in favour of having ice-cream for dinner every night.
I don't agree with this false dilemma. Not going to school is not the same (or as detrimental) as having a sweet and fattening food everyday. Many homeschoolers and unschoolers would vehemently disagree with this characterisation of what they're doing.
I agree that they're not the same thing. My point is that people aged 6 to 10 don't exactly have great judgement. I don't mean to suggest that being opposed to compulsory schooling is about as clever as eating ice-cream for dinner every night.
* I don't think wiki should discuss Fringe Views because (A) its guidelines expressly state that they don't want fringe theories; (B) there needs to be a limit on the information that shouldn't be included in a wiki article, otherwise they become too long to be useful; and (C) including fringe theories makes them seem like they've got more societal traction than they really do. For example, if the article on Earth mentioned modern "flat earth" theories, it would suggest that there is a significant body of support for that viewpoint - and that just isn't the case. Iiago (talk) 23:14, 27 February 2011 (UTC)iiago
I've given my views on your use of the fringe theory guidelines above and still think them incorrect. This article does need a short benefits and criticism section to illustrate the philosophical, educational and legal implications of this law. What we had before, for all it's faults, was better than what we have now. I'll leave this open for other editors to make their minds up on as we do seem to firmly disagree on this point. Logan Tanner (talk) 17:04, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok. I've enjoyed our conversation, BTW. Thanks for your time.
Well if there is no criticism section, there can hardly be a benefit section. To do so would cetainly violate neutrality policy. HoundofBaskersville (talk) 02:35, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'll delete it. Iiago (talk) 23:14, 27 February 2011 (UTC)iiago

This article is a mess[edit]

Without meaning to be rude, I think this article is a mess. All there is on the United Kingdom is a few lines, without even any mention of how the Compulsory Education Act was passed in 1870! I do not know when it was passed in other European countries, but we need to have more history here. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:30, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Dear ACEOREVIVED, I've placed a link to the article History of education in England under the name of the relevant section. I shall also copy here some necessary words from there.
However I need to say some words in defence of the whole article as I see it now.
  1. The author had is a good idea to speak about the compulsory education as an idea which roots back to the antic times. It is wider than schooling. Alas, on some interwikies I see, that colleagues have narrowed the idea to the "school education" — this is an important, but historically — probably, not a single way to make the education compulsory.
  2. The "School educaion" is specific in each country. So, the only information we may afford to have here, in the 'international' section of "Compulsory education", is the brief information, when was the Compulsory education introduced, and how was the 'age range' expanding after that.
As for the proposal to merge this article ("Compulsory education") with the stub Mass educationI am against this idea. "Mass education" involves much more than schools. AFAIK, the idea of Robert Raikes with Sunday schools was based also upon the efforts of literate volunteers who have been teaching poor children outside schools many years before. And this was not only in Britain, when enthusiasts helped to expand the scope of the education from "school" to the "mass education". I wish anybody who knows English better that me shall collect and publish the necessary material for the Mass education as a separate article. (talk) 17:36, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree that this article shouldn't be merged with "Mass Education" for the reasons mentioned above. I also agree that this article is a mess. In the United States section: There should be statements and/or links to the national/federal law/s that made education a federal issue, a federal department and that made it compulsory... also a link to the two pages "Education in the United States" and "History of Education in the United States" which also could use some work as even on the History page it says nothing of why/when education was brought under the federal government or even the first federal law, etc. I mean "really?!?"... as someone who use to come here looking for important information like when things happened or when a law was passed or the name of the "act", wikipedia has gone way down hill in that aspect.---Zet

Mass education is a separate topic[edit]

Mass education was a major historical development in education and should be kept as a separate page on Wikipedia, rather than being merged into compulsory education. Yes, mass education has a modern context, i.e. the current education system as we know it, but this change in education from "education for the elite" to "education for everyone", largely driven by the industrial age(?), really is a major development in education and should be kept as a separate page, with a focus on history or mass education as a movement, i.e. when it occurred, who developed it, why it occured, and perhaps with a final section on the current education system and where mass education is today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:22, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Comment about Prussia[edit]

I have grave doubts about the assertions of this article as to Prussia being the first country to introduce compulsory education. It certainly does not chime in with the article in the German wikipedia.

But leaving that aside, even more questionable is the unsourced comment according to which Prussia intended to have more obedient soldiers and serfs due to compulsory education.

Not only would the instrument defeat the purpose as everyone has to see that more education certainly does not mean more obedience, there are also other more likely reasons for the introduction of compulsory education.

I would recommend deleting it, until a quote from a reputable source is provided. I stress reputable, because in the course of googling the topic, I have become aware that there are certain interest groups that seem to make up their own history with regards to compulsory schooling in Germany and Prussia. (talk) 14:28, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Article Title[edit]

Compulsory Schooling is a more neutral and more accurate title, since schooling can take pace outside schools, and not all education is compulsory.

Education versus Schooling[edit]

The title of the original article was schooling, and should have remained so.

What the state imposes is schooling, at best, but it is more like training to accept the state of society as it is. Proper education would be a child centered process where teachers are trained to externalize the inner capacities and aspirations of every child.

In more formal terms, the best purpose of education would be to help each individual learn to think for her-/him-self. This prevents adaptive self organization of citizens and, thereby, orderly social evolution. Janosabel (talk) 15:14, 13 September 2013 (UTC)