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Get Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory PDF

By John Taylor Gatto

ISBN-10: 0865714487

ISBN-13: 9780865714489

With over 70,000 copies of the 1st version in print, this radical treatise on public schooling has been a brand new Society Publishers’ bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years in big apple City’s public colleges led John Gatto to the unhappy end that obligatory education does little yet train youngsters to stick to orders like cogs in an business desktop. This moment variation describes the normal effect of the e-book and Gatto’s "guerrilla teaching."

John Gatto has been a instructor for 30 years and is a recipient of the recent York nation instructor of the yr award. His different titles comprise A varied form of Teacher (Berkeley Hills Books, 2001) and The Underground historical past of yank Education (Oxford Village Press, 2000).

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Sample text

The children I teach are dependent, passive, and timid in the presence of new challenges. This timidity is frequently masked by surface bravado or by anger or aggressiveness, but underneath is a vacuum without fortitude. I could name a few other conditions that school reform will have to tackle if our national decline is to be arrested, but by now you will have grasped my thesis, whether you agree with it or not. Either schools have caused these pathologies, or television has, or both. It’s a simple matter of arithmetic: between schooling and television, all the time the children have is eaten up.

I frequently insinuate the day will come when an employer will hire them on the basis of test scores and grades, even though my own experience is that employers are rightly indifferent to such things. I never lie outright, but I’ve come to see that truth and schoolteaching are, at bottom, incompatible, just as Socrates said thousands of years ago. The lesson of numbered classes is that everyone has a proper place in the pyramid and that there is no way out of your class except by number magic. Failing that, you must stay where you are put.

School is a major actor in this tragedy, as it is a major actor in the widening gulf among social classes. Using school as a sorting mechanism, we appear to be on the way to creating a caste system, complete with untouchables who wander through subway trains begging and who sleep upon the streets. I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes.

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Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (10th Anniversary Edition) by John Taylor Gatto


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