The primary function of teachers is to coerce children

From the archives: The original post was posted on 16th October, 1994

“I’m finishing my Education degree at the University of Calgary and hope to some day be a teacher. (I’ve been in school far too long)”

Far too long? You might be in schools for the rest of your life, if you become a teacher.

Maybe not. Some new teachers don’t last. When they finally get into a real classroom, the ideals that led them into teaching – helping children learn or whatever – are hard to sustain. Most children simply don’t want to be there. The primary function of teachers is to coerce children: to hold innocent people against their will (in other contexts known as “imprisonment without trial”), to force them to do things they don’t want to do, to stop them doing things they do want to do, to indoctrinate them with ideas valued by the state or the school authorities, and to “train” (coerce) them to conform. Not everyone who goes into teaching is able to rationalize this away into something acceptable. Some know that it is immoral, and have to quit.

Kevin Schoedel, 1994, ‘The primary function of teachers is to coerce children’,