What if the License Raj in a U.S. state makes it illegal to operate K-12 schools once again, as was done in most states back in March? Could American rebels reboot the Irish hedge school tradition? From Wikipedia:
Hedge schools (Irish names include scoil chois claí, scoil ghairid and scoil scairte) were small informal illegal schools, particularly in 18th- and 19th-century Ireland, designed to secretly provide the rudiments of primary education to children of ‘non-conforming’ faiths (Catholic and Presbyterian). Under the penal laws only schools for those of the Anglican faith were allowed. Instead Catholics and Presbyterians set up highly informal secret operations that met in private homes.
Historians generally agree that they provided a kind of schooling, occasionally at a high level, for up to 400,000 students by the mid-1820s. J. R. R. Adams says the hedge schools testified “to the strong desire of ordinary Irish people to see their children receive some sort of education.” Antonia McManus argues that there “can be little doubt that Irish parents set a high value on a hedge school education and made enormous sacrifices to secure it for their children….[the hedge schoolteacher was] one of their own”.
While the “hedge school” label suggests the classes took place outdoors (next to a hedgerow), classes were normally held in a house or barn.
From my rain-soaked May/June 2019 trip to Ireland:
- https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2020/05/21/plague-proof-florida-and-texas-with-shaded-outdoor-classrooms/ (actually do the education outdoors under backyard shade structures)