Deschooling for all? The thought of Ivan Illich in the era of education (and learning) for all

Jon Igelmo Zaldívar


Shortly after its publication in 1971, Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society made a significant impact on reports written at the most influential levels of international institutions, such as Edgar Faure’s report for UNSECO, titled Learning to Be: The World of Education Today and Tomorrow (1972). However, Deschooling Society is but one of many aspects in the overall set of criticisms Illich constructed regarding education and its institutions throughout his entire career. With this matter in mind, this article presents a study on the usefulness of Illich’s thoughts on education and its institutions in the debate on the «post-2015 agenda» being promoted by organisations such as UNESCO and the World Bank. The aim is to reclaim this author’s works as key referents in the questioning of the theoretical grounds predominating many international development policies that advocate «Education for All» and «Learning for All» in the 21st century.

How to reference this article

Igelmo Zaldívar, J. (2015). Deschooling for all? The thought of Ivan Illich in the era of education (and learning) for all. Foro de Educación, 13(18), pp. 93-109. doi:

Palabras clave

Illich; desescolarización; decrecimiento; Educación para Todos; Aprendizaje para Todos

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


Barrow, R. (1978). Radical Education: A Critique of Freeschooling and Deschooling. London: M. Robertson.

Bruno‐Jofré, R., & Igelmo Zaldívar, J. (2012). Ivan Illich’s Late Critique of Deschooling Society: «I Was Largely Barking Up The Wrong Tree». Educational Theory, 62(5), 573-592. doi:10.1111/j.1741-5446.2012.00464.x

Cayley, D. (1992). Ivan Illich in conversation. Concord, Ont.: House of Anansi Press.

Cobo, C., & Moravec, J. W. (2011). Aprendizaje Invisible. Hacia una Nueva Ecología de la Educación. Barcelona, Spain: Publicacions i Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona.

Daudet, Y., & Singh, K. (2001). The Right to Education: An Analysis of UNESCO’s Standard-Setting Instruments. Paris: UNESCO.

Díaz, R., & Freire, J. (Eds.) (2012). Educación Expandida. Spain: Zemos 98 y Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

Downes, S. (2012). Connectivism and Connective Knowledge. Retrieved july 2013 from

Falbel, A. (2002). The Mess We’re in: How Ivan Illich Revealed to Me That the American Dream Is Actually a Nightmare. In Hoinacki, L. & Mitcham, C. (Eds.) The Challenges of Ivan Illich: A Collective Reflection (129-140) Albany: State University of New York Press.

Farenga, P. (1998). Homeschooling: Creating Alternatives to Education, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 18 (2), 127-133. Doi: 10.1177/027046769801800208

Faure, E. (1972). Learning to be. The World of education today and tomorrow. Paris: UNESCO.

Fournier, V. (2008). Escaping From the Economy: The Politics of Degrowth. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 28(11/12), 528-545. doi: 10.1108/01443330810915233

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder.

Gabbard, D. A. (1994). Ivan Illich, Postmodernism, and The Eco-crisis: Reintroducing a «Wild» Discourse, Educational Theory, 44(2), 173-187.

Gintis, H. (1972). Toward a Political Economy of Education: A Radical Critique of Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Dociety. Harvard Educational Review, 42(1), 70-96.

Hannoun, H. (1976). Iván Illich o La Escuela Sin Sociedad. Spain: Península.

Hedman, C. G. (1979). The «Deschooling» Controversy Revisited: A Defense of Illich›s «Participatory Socialism», Educational Theory, 29(2), 109-116.

Heyneman, S. P. (2012). When Models Become Monopolies: The Making of Education Policy at the World Bank, International Perspectives on Education and Society, 16, 43-62.

Hoinacki, L. and Mitcham, C. (Eds.) (2002). The Challenges of Ivan Illich: A Collective Reflection. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Igelmo Zaldívar, J. (2012). Las Teorías de la Desescolarzación: Cuarenta Años de Perspectiva Histórica. Social and Education History, 1 (1), 28-57. Doi: 10.4471/hse.2012.02

Igelmo Zaldívar, J y Laudo Castillo, X. (2015). Las teorías de la desescolarización y su continuidad en la pedagogía líquida del siglo XXI. Educación XX1. (En prensa)

Illich, I. (1971). Deschooling Society. New York: Harper & Row.

Illich, I. (1978). La convivencialidad. Barcelona: Barral.

Illich, I. (1978). Toward a History of Needs. New York: Pantheon Books.

Illich, I. (1981). Shadow Work. Boston: M. Boyars.

Illich, I. (1987). A Plea For Research On Lay Literacy. The North American Review, 272(3), 10-17.

Illich, I., & Sanders, B. (1988). ABC - The Alphabetization of The Popular Mind. New York: Random House.

Illich, I. (1992a). En el Espejo del Pasado. Conferencias y Discursos, 1978-1990 in Illich, I. (2008) Iván Illich Obras Reunidas Vol. II. (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica).

Illich, I. (1992b). The History of Homo Educandus. In Illich, I. (1992). In The Mirror of The Past: Lectures and addresses, 1978-1990 (113-117). London: M. Boyars.

Illich, I. (1993). En el Viñedo del Texto. Etología de la Lectura: un Comentario al «Didascalicon» de Hugo de San Victor. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Illich, I. (1996). ‘Foreword’ in Hern, M. (ed.) (1996). Deschooling our Lives. Gabriola Island, B.C: New Society Publishers.

Illich, I., & Cayley, D. (2004). The Rivers North of The Future: The Testament of Ivan Illich. Toronto: House of Anansi Press.

Illich, I. (2010). Needs. In Sachs, W. (Ed.) (2010). The Development Dictionary. A Guide to Knowledge the Power (88-101). New York: Zed Books.

Jelinek, A. (2012). Deschooling Society. Journal of Visual Culture, 11(1), 89-94. doi: 10.1177/1470412911430580

Jerome, J. (1973). After Illich, What?. In Gartner, A., Illich, I., Greer, C., & Riessman, F (Eds.) (1973). After Deschooling, What? (46-48). New York: Perennial Library.

Klee, S. J. (2012). World Bank and Education: Ideological Premises and Ideological Conclusions, International Perspectives on Education and Society, 16, 151-171.

Kahn, R. (2011). Ecopedagogy: Educating For Sustainability in Schools and Society. USA: Routledge.

Kleinig, J. (1981). Compulsory Schooling, Journal of Philosophy of Education, 15(2), 191-203.

Latouche, S. (2006). La Apuesta por el Decrecimiento ¿Cómo Salir de Imaginario Dominante? Barcelona, Spain: Icaria & Antrazyt.

Latouche, S. (2009). Pequeño Tratado del Decrecimiento Sereno. Barcelona, Spain: Icaria & Más Madera.

Laudo, X. (2011). Pedagogía Líquida, Ivan Illich y Desescolarización: una Hipótesis Histórica. In Celada Perandones, P. (Ed.) (2011). Arte y Oficio de Enseñar: Dos Siglos de Perspectiva Histórica (193-201). Soria: XVI Coloquio Nacional de Historia de la Educaión.

Lerena Alesón, C. (1983). Reprimir y Liberar. Madrid: Akal.

Lewis, T. E. (2012). Exopedagogy: On Pirates, Shorelines, and The Educational Commonwealth. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44(8), 845-861. doi:10.1111/j.1469-5812.2011.00759.x

Lister, I. (1974). Deschooling : A Reader. London: Cambridge University Press.

Macklin, M. (1976). When Schools Are Gone : A Projection of The Thought of Ivan Illich. St. Lucia, Q: University of Queensland Press.

McConnell, T. A. (1972). Ivan Illich’s Assault on Education. Religious Education, 67(1), 41-48. doi:10.1080/0034408720670111

Nassif, R. (1975). Las Teorías de la «Desescolarización» Entre la Paradoja y la Utopía, Perspectivas, 5 (3), 329-340.

Palacios, J. (1989). La Cuestión Escolar. Barcelona: Cuadernos de Pedagogía Laia.

Petrovski, A. (1976). ¿Qué Hay Tras la Desescolarización?,Perspectivas, 6 (1), 67-70.

Pitt, D. (1980). Mr Illich’s Multiplier: The Strange ‘Death’ of The Bureaucratic Organization, The British Journal of Sociology, 31(2), 277-291.

Pritchett, L. (2013). The Rebirht of Education: Schooling Ain’t Learning. Washingston: Center For Global Development-Bookings Institute Press.

Reimer, E. W. (1971). School Is Dead: Alternatives in Education. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday.

Samoff, J. (2012). More of The Same Will not Do. In S. J. Klees, J. Samoff, & Stromquist, N. P. (Eds.) World Bank and Education. Rotterdam/Boston/ Taipei: Sense Publishers.

Taibo, C. (2009). En Defensa del Decrecimiento: Sobre Capitalismo, Crisis y Barbarie Madrid: Catarata.

Taylor, C. (2005). Foreword. In Illich, I., & Cayley, D. (2004) The Rivers North of the Future: The Testament of Ivan Illich (ix-xiv) Toronto: House of Anansi Press.

UNESCO (2000). The Dakar Framework for Action: Education for All. Paris: author.

UNESCO (2001). Monitoring Report on Education for All. Paris: author.

Verger, A., Sayed, Y., Hiroshi I., Croso C., & and Beardmore S. (2012). EFA, Civil Society and The Post-2015 Agenda. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 42 (6), 881-902.

World Bank (2011). Learning for all: Investing in People’s Knowledge and Skills to Promote Development. Education Sector Strategy, 2020. Washington, DC: author.


Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.

e-ISSN: 1698-7802

DOI prefix: 10.14516/fde


FahrenHouse: Salamanca, España 

Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial 3.0 España.