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Profile for Michael Mayo > Reviews


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A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
by John Taylor Gatto
Edition: Hardcover
57 used & new from $1.68

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A veteran teacher thinks deeply about the student's mind, October 13, 2003
This book is one of the most fascinating reads I have had in a long time. This is, at least in the contemporary, new thinking. Gatto must have cared deeply about his students (their minds and hearts) to have thought so deeply (and then to follow up with research) about how the school system affects their natural curiosity and industry.
I particularly found interesting the comparison of real work with paper work. The idea that important (i.e., real) projects should be pursued in contrast to the model/abstract (i.e., illusion) projects. The concept here is that people (especially young, unadulterated children) thrive educationally on touching the real, important things in their lives. The children grow in character, ability and knowledge where they actually accomplish something of value in the real world. Compulsory school cannot accommodate an individual's curiosity and need to accomplish that which is real life. School can only teach in a classroom full of desks and books, where one is forced to learn what the school has deemed good (regardless of the individual's curiosity, aptitude and learning style). Thus, school can really only teach with paper and concepts. School, ironically, is not the real world and yet, it's the place most of us have chosen as a great starting place for our children. The irony is loudly ringing in my ears.

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