After reading James Tooley's The Beautiful Tree! I felt angry, inspired, surprised, and most of all completely bewildered as to how the education experts of the world from 19th century onwards were just ignoring how majority of the poor were choosing the education for their children.
His experiences of working with schools in India, China, Nigeria, Ghana, and Zimbabwe all showed him the same thing! That the poor had made a choice for the betterment of their children. The educational entreprenuers were not looting the poor "ignoramous" parents. The children in private schools, even the village schools, were performing way better than their counterparts in government schools.
It was the first time I had read a counter to Britain's feather in the cap-of bringing education to the uncivilised world! He documents again and again how in Kenya, China, India, and even in England had a history of well-functioning private schools which used a unique peer-learning methodoly!
Given the recent debates around the Right to Education Bill, its seems so clear that we hvae not learnt anything from our own history and that the edu-experts are clinging on to some utopian system of all-public-education which has failed to deliver over and over again!
The book was published by Cato and there is soon going to be an Indian edition, hopefully! Keep your eye on that one!
Way to go, James and thanks for educating me about how my ancestors were educating themselves!