This passage by G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) from What’s Wrong with the World regarding public education I think could have been said today.

The trouble in too many of our modern schools is that the State, being controlled so specially by the few, allows cranks and experiments to go straight to the schoolroom when they have never passed through the Parliament, the public house, the private house, the church, or the marketplace.

Obviously it ought to be the oldest things that are taught to the youngest people; the assured and experienced truths that are put first to the baby. But in a school today the baby has to submit to a system that is younger than himself. The flopping infant of four actually has more experience, and has weathered the world longer than the dogma to which he is made to submit.

Many a school boasts of having the last ideas in education, when it has not even the first idea; for the first idea is that even innocence, divine as it is, may learn something from experience. But this is all due to the mere fact that we are managed by a little oligarchy; my system presupposes that men who govern themselves will govern their children.

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