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If we view time as the increasing entropy of the universe, it is sort of hard to deny. Maybe, it is "emergent" only above the quantum level, but so what?

It is important to ask if an instructional intervention better than none at all, or more generally to ask if our formal education is better than no education at all. People just assume that what schools do is beneficial. We need evidence to determine if that is true for any educational intervention or system.

One truth is that formal education is intended to teach specific things that "society" or our culture want children to learn. If we don't direct learning, likely many fewer children would learn the intended information or skills. I make no assertion about whether students should be learning these things; but it seems some things like reading and multiplication are obviously good for most children to learn. Fewer students would learn these things is no formal education were required.

The popular assertion that we should teach young students "how to think" or "form abstractions" (which may be the same thing) makes the common mistake of assuming that such things can be learned via instruction (or any planned activity). Again, we need empirical evidence that thinking can be taught . We also have Piaget and others suggesting that younger students do not have sufficient cognitive development to learn abstractions or other specific cognitive abilities. Lastly, we know that higher order learning in any domain requires a good deal of lower level knowledge (e.g., facts) be acquired before higher order learning can occur.