- Paperback: 230 pages
- Publisher: Berkeley Hills Books (April 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1893163407
- ISBN-13: 978-1893163409
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling Paperback – April, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The book wasn't written to condemn or indict teachers and administrators who work within the system; it was written to expose the problems which perpetuate an institution that, by any meaningful measure, fails so miserably to prepare children for the wonderful challenges and opportunities to be found in life after adolescence.
One theme that Gatto convincingly explores is the damage inflicted on the human psyche through the many years of compulsory schooling. For the reader to reflect on how this instills a conditioning of the mind, not to think but to simply learn and accept what it's told, is a solid beginning for understanding how the vast majority of people in this country continue to so willingly accept the idea of public schools as a good thing.
The simple fact is we can do much, much better in providing education for our children. In helping us all to better understand why public schooling "is broke," Gatto's contribution is a gem. (The five stars I gave it are not enough.) It's a wonderful read for everyone, whether pro or con on public schools, for the simple reason that it makes you think.
Why do we have a new study come out every four or five years indicating our students are the least academically qualified in the industrialized world? Each time this happens, Gatto points out, we have a flurry of activity, a reallocation of funds, a rededication to the purposes of schooling. Math and science are further stressed, to the point that we have the strictest hard science standards in history. And a few years later the exact same study comes out again. Gatto insists it's time to get off this track and go in a new and better direction.
Gatto insists that home and family, community, and meaningful work are the keys to educating youth in the skills they really need to survive. School inculcates notions of dependency that result in kids being reduced to a cog in the wheel. School strips kids of a connection to family and community values, individuality, and personal industry. Only when kids are free to teach themselves what they need and want to know, and are encouraged to do so, will education truly happen. As Gatto says, you can make up for a lack of schooling. You cannot make up for a lack of education.
The thesis of this work doesn't entirely hold up. Gatto lionizes how things used to be in the past, suggesting that kids were better off when Mom, Pop, and the Preacher gave them all the education they needed, and then Junior inherited the farm.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you have any worries about the quality of our schools, you have to read Gatto. His Underground History lays out an appalling story, and this book adds to his clear exposition of... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Big Red
John Taylor Gatto offers a scathing indictment of public school in “A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Socratic Parent
Gatto, I love you. I've always felt uneasy about education, but I just sort of accepted a lot of things as "the system" and went on with life. Read morePublished on April 17, 2014 by J.M. Hope
John Gatto's approach to education reform is spot on. His out-of-the-box thinking and approach is exactly what reform should look like - an extreme makeover. Read morePublished on August 7, 2013 by Elizabeth M.
In Western countries, nearly everybody can read and write. John Taylor Gatto says, 'But what of it'? Read morePublished on August 5, 2013 by Moises Pittounikos
We are so glad that you decided to write your books and share your story. We have learned so much from you and are so encouraged by all you share. Thanks for being you! Read morePublished on May 14, 2013 by Nancy S.
Gatto's grouchy collection of essays and speeches is a dreadful downer. This is a sad ending to a Columbia University education and an example of what 30 years in the NYC school... Read morePublished on March 18, 2011 by Sweetbooks
All of John Taylor Gatto's books are direct and to the point of the indoctrination of public school children. Read morePublished on May 22, 2010 by robert