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Weapons of Mass Instruction: A…

Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey through the…

by John Taylor Gatto

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If half of what Gatto says about compulsory education we have a serious problem. Thought-provoking to say the least. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Modern schooling is a tool for stifling thinking and controlling the masses. Endless examples of people without much formal education who have made it big, nothing about the failures. Reasoned critiques of the school system are valuable. This book is not. ( )
  ohernaes | Jan 17, 2014 |
I just finished reading Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto, and now I wish I had someone to discuss it with. I think it would make a great read for a book discussion group, or a seminar class of some kind. It has so much thought provoking material, all gathered to support Gatto's belief that our school systems are the real reason that people today are not as well educated as they could be, and as they were more than 100 years ago. I think his arguments are compelling and make a heck of a lot of sense, and I am one of those people who did well in school, have a knack for taking tests, but who has not achieved a level of success that matches how well I did in school.... Gatto has really struck a nerve with me.... He also makes me believe that it would be better for my grandchildren to be home schooled rather than sent to school. They are bright - I don't want that ruined by the expectations of an education system that wants them to sit down, shut up, and learn to be cogs in a machine designed to make someone else rich, or to maintain the wealth of the 1%. Have any of you read this book? ( )
  RoseEllen | Mar 5, 2012 |
I would say reading through the first chapter is all that is necessary.
  Jagular2k | Feb 29, 2012 |
Upon finishing this book, I've thought that it would a good thing to spend $1,000 and buy copies to leave laying about at the pediatrician's office, so as to reach the optimum audience per dollar spent. ( )
  ricksbooks | Oct 10, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865716315, Hardcover)

“Gatto draws on thirty years in the classroom and many years of research as a school reformer. He puts forth his thesis with a rhetorical style that is passionate, logical, and laden with examples and illustrations.” ForeWord Magazine

“Weapons of Mass Instruction is probably his best yet. Gatto’s storytelling skill shines as he relates tales of real people who fled the school system and succeeded in spite of the popular wisdom that insists on diplomas, degrees and credentials. If you are just beginning to suspect there may be a problem with schooling (as opposed to educating as Gatto would say), then you’ll not likely find a better expose of the problem than Weapons of Mass Instruction.” Cathy Duffy Reviews

"In this book, the noisy gadfly of U.S. education takes up the question of damage done in the name of schooling. Again he touches on many of the same questions and finds the same answers.  Gatto is a bold and compelling critic in a field defined by politic statements, and from the first pages of this book he takes even unwilling readers along with him. In Weapons of Mass Instruction, he speaks movingly to readers' deepest desires for an education that taps their talents and frees frustrated ambitions. It is a challenging and extraordinary book that is a must read for anyone navigating their way through the school system." - Ria Julien - Winnipeg Free Press

John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of familiar schooling that cripple imagination, discourage critical thinking, and create a false view of learning as a by-product of rote-memorization drills. Gatto’s earlier book, Dumbing Us Down, put that now-famous expression of the title into common use worldwide. Weapons of Mass Instruction promises to add another chilling metaphor to the brief against schooling.

Here is a demonstration that the harm school inflicts is quite rational and deliberate, following high-level political theories constructed by Plato, Calvin, Spinoza, Fichte, Darwin, Wundt, and others, which contend the term “education” is meaningless because humanity is strictly limited by necessities of biology, psychology, and theology. The real function of pedagogy is to render the common population manageable.

Realizing that goal demands that the young be conditioned to rely upon experts, remain divided from natural alliances, and accept disconnections from the experiences that create self-reliance and independence.

Escaping this trap requires a different way of growing up, one Gatto calls “open source learning.” In chapters such as “A Letter to Kristina, my Granddaughter”; “Fat Stanley”; and “Walkabout:London,” this different reality is illustrated.

John Taylor Gatto taught for thirty years in public schools before resigning from school-teaching in the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal during the year he was named New York State’s official Teacher of the Year. Since then, he has traveled three million miles lecturing on school reform.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:58 -0400)

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We have been taught to think of success as synonymous with schooling, and yet some of the most creative minds didn't go to high school. This book explores how compulsory schooling has stripped youth of their best qualities.

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New Society Publishers

2 editions of this book were published by New Society Publishers.

Editions: 0865716315, 0865716692

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