John Taylor Gatto On The Consequences Of Public Education


Jun 17, 2009
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Gatto’s Main Points
  • Schools train people to fit into the existing civil society.

  • Bent towards certain attitudes and habits, very few are able to deviate; because of this schools essentially alienate individuals from themselves.

  • Today’s schools foster a low level threshold for dissatisfaction, dependency on others, and obedience.

  • Gatto says it is a form of adoption. Parents give children to complete strangers during their most vulnerable years of learning and development.

  • Throughout history, masters have always created the lessons while pedagogues administer them. This creates a disconnect between teachers and the material being taught.

  • Those in America’s early industrial-corporate culture, like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, prescribed the doctrine (with the help of other businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians) that humans had to be “processed like raw material.” They largely borrowed this model from what the Prussians did in the early 1800s. Since then, this doctrine has propagated all over the world in one form or another.

  • Teachers are designed by the state to categorize students based on the demands of the economy.

  • Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, was one of the first to popularize the modern notion that an elite had to manage and take care of “lesser mortals.” According to Darwin’s “The Descent of Man,” 90% of individuals were an “evolutionary dead-end.”

  • Today students can answer factual questions, but they can’t answer questions that gauge the significance or relationships of characters, or anything that requires what we call “higher order thinking.” For example: reading comprehension is often measured by being able to pick out facts from a passage in a series of multiple choice questions, but they don’t test students’ understanding of the deeper meaning of a story.

Old Rocks

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Oct 31, 2008
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Portland, Ore.
Well, I have no idea where you went to school, but I would have to say that the attempt to educate you failed.

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