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Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 10th Anniversary Edition Paperback – February 1, 2002
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Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
This is not a book about solutions- This is a book about recognizing the problem. As we know, recognizing the problem is the first step to correcting the situation.
This is a series of essays and speaches the author has written about education in the United States. Mr. Gatto is an award winning teacher who has taken the brave step of stating what he sees wrong with education. As only someone who has worked in the system for so long can really see the problems, he not only sees the problems, he shares them with the rest of the nation.
As a teacher who has quit to stay at home with my children, I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Gatto. As a teacher who has vowed to home school, I agree with Mr. Gatto.
Education does what it was set up to do- to teach the masses, to tame the unruly individual thinkers, and more. Mr. Gatto's seven lessons that school teaches is exactly on target. Unfortunately.
How do we change the education system? It will take a shift of thinking across the nation. This book is just a small drop in the tidal wave of events that needs to happen. Each person reading this book and acting on it only adds to the rising wave of education reform.
Truly a well thought out book written by a brave man who was willing to put his job and living on the line for what he believes.
How ironic it is that Gatto's first two chapters contain the text of his acceptance speeches for NewYork State and City Teacher of the Year Awards. How ironic indeed, that he uses his own award presentation as a forum to attack the very same educational system that is honoring him! Gatto describes schooling, as opposed to learning, as a "twelve-year jail sentence where bad habits are the onlycurriculum truly learned. I teach school and win awards doing it," taunts the author.
While trapped in this debilitative system along with his students, Gatto, observed in them anoverwhelming dependence. He believes that school teaches this dependence by purposely inhibitingindependent thinking, and reinforcing indifference to adult thinking. He describes his students as"having almost no curiosity, a poor sense of the future, are a historical, cruel, uneasy with intimacy, and materialistic."
Gatto suggests that the remedy to this crisis in education is less time spent in school, and more timespent with family and "in meaningful pursuits in their communities." He advocates apprenticeships andhome schooling as a way for children to learn.Read more ›
This book explains a lot for anyone who got good grades, went to college, and then didn't have any idea what to do with his life. It's also a wake-up call to parents with school-age children. Do we really want our children to grow up to be good factory workers and do as they're told? Do we really want them to buy into the "Good grades=good jobs" myth? Do we want them to believe that the goal in life is to acquire more and more stuff to fuel consumerism?
Or should we give them more reflective, unstructured time in childhood to find out who they are, what they like, and how they can contribute to their communities?
Dumbing Us Down is a quick, worthwhile read.
This is a must read for anyone involved in the education of children and especially those who have an inchoate sense that something is wrong with the way we are teaching our children. In the essays in this book, John Taylor Gatto discusses the hidden national curriculum (The Seven-Lesson Teacher) and its inevitable result. In his essay The Psychopathic School, he discusses the link between the way we teach our children and the problems they manifest (no sense of past or future, lack of ability to pay attention, no sense that anything is important, and more). The essay, The Green Monogahela, shows the reader John's background and the informal, learn-from-life way that he learned the most important lessons of his life. Finally, in We Need Less School, Not More, John discusses the difference between family and community, and pseudo-community (he calls it networks) that pervade our national institutions, as well as the importance of a real community to real education. Finally, in the Congregation Principle, John discusses the importance of difference and variety as a corrective to social mistakes and social injustice.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This man is inspirational. Every person should read this, and force his or her kids to read it.Published 1 month ago by CobraKai4Ever
John Taylor Gatto is one of my favorites. Public school was a failure for my daughter, and I have since been researching the state of our education system. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jessica S
A great big glorious dose of common sense - this man is a true teacher. Highly recommended to all parents.Published 1 month ago by Guy John Daley
A must read for parents with kids going into school , in school or homeschooling.Published 1 month ago by Cat B.
A repetitive diatribe that counts more on emotions than on real facts. It is also strange that Mr. Gatto reached all his anti-public schooling conclusions after spending his entire... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chris Kostov