Winston Churchill wrote that schools had little to do with education since they were mainly instruments of control. Joy Baker was of the same mind and sought to have her children educated rather than schooled.
Later writers agreed with her – Paul Goodman in Compulsory Mis-education, John Holt in Instead of Education), and Everett Reimer in School is Dead, to mention but three. So had earlier writers such as the Chief Inspector of Schools, Edmond Holmes in The Tragedy of Education.
Chris Shute tells the story of Joy Baker’s bitter encounters with the Authorities over a period of ten years or so. In the end the rigid policies of the Authorities were exposed and over-ruled. But she had to endure court hearing after court hearing, and at one stage, experience her children being taken away from her by force, before she eventually achieved success.
Joy Baker believed that she could do a better job of educating her children than the State could, in spite of its good intentions. She did not want them to become mere rule-followers.
Chris Shute is a former teacher who became a notable writer on education. His previous titles have been: Compulsory Schooling Disease: How Children Absorb Fascist Values, then Alice Miller: The Unkind Society, Parenting and Schooing then Edmond Holmes and ‘The Tragedy of Education’. then Bertrand Russell; Education as the Power of Independent thought