Novelist and essayist Grant Allen used to say, “Don’t let school interfere with your education.” Yet, from a cultural perspective, this is exactly what our country has been doing. …

In essence, education = school; or, more specifically, the Western concept of school. To further my point, the word “education” doesn’t summon memories of your mom reading Little House on the Prairie aloud to you and your siblings, or dad showing you how to balance a checkbook (unless, of course, you were homeschooled).

Pundits argue over this school standard and that school requirement, and how much power teachers’ unions should have, even what we should feed kids in school. As for curriculum, conservatives and concerned parents have been waging a massive battle against Common Core education mandates. Ultimately though, at a 10,000-foot view of what it means to “educate” our children, these arguments are really just splitting hairs.

That may be an unpopular view, especially to those who are fighting-mad over education reform and efforts to indoctrinate the next generation. But it is nevertheless true. All our thoughts about education revolve around this particular model called “school.”