How did you learn to be careful with fire? Who taught you the best way to console a friend after a breakup or how to manage an encounter with the police? How do you know which pronouns to use for another person or for yourself? Your answers to these questions give a clue to the scale of the educational process, which begins at birth and continues throughout the life course. Learning happens every time you experiment with different smoothie ingredients or get into a debate over gender-reveal parties on Twitter. From the consciousness-raising circles of the 1970s women’s liberation movement to online communities to street gangs, teaching and learning are circular social processes that shape how we see the world and ourselves. “Education,” in this sense, is the cumulative total of these processes as they unfold in real time. Schooling, conversely, is the formalization of these processes in a physically and logistically separate sphere for teaching and learning. Compulsory schooling is a relatively new phenomenon worldwide and is inextricably tied to both old colonial power structures and newer neoliberal debt paradigms. For instance, across the Global South, structural adjustment programs administered by international financial institutions like the World Bank and...

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