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Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (1992)

by John Taylor Gatto

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1,5822711,053 (4.1)12
"John Taylor Gatto's radical treatise on public education, a New Society Publishers bestseller for 25 years, continues to advocate for the unshackling of children and learning from formal schooling. Now, in an ever-more-rapidly changing world with an explosion of alternative routes to learning, it's poised to continue to shake the world of institutional education for many more years."--… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
There were so many wonderful quotes here, and I kept thinking to myself, "Yes! This is exactly what I think, but didn't know how to articulate."

My only criticism is that Gatto seems to assume that individuals, left to their own devices, will somehow choose right and straighten themselves out, with "self-knowledge," etc. In reality, as shown over and over again in the Old Testament of the Bible, when people are left to their own devices and don't rely on God, havoc ensues. We cannot create our own purpose; we must acknowledge God's sovereignty and His purpose for our lives. We will find our purpose and sense of worth in the knowledge of His love. ( )
  RachelRachelRachel | Nov 21, 2023 |
While I was prepared for the degree to which this book was an indictment of our public education system, I was unprepared for the degree to which it's an indictment of pretty much our whole society, including education, national government, mass media, etc...

I have to admit that I'm really still digesting the implications of the book and will probably need to re-read shortly. ( )
  jugglebird | Feb 18, 2021 |
This book was okay. The only reason I’m giving it three stars is because it’s very hyperbolic and pretentious at times. I work in special education, so I’m with him that public education can be a nightmare in a lot of ways, and I agree that the federal government should have less power and the individual communities schools belong in should have more. But then he rages against television and fast food and gets all doom and gloom that everybody in America is a mindless idiot. That’s all a bit much. Couldn’t give it higher than 3 stars, despite agreeing with him on many points. ( )
  Jyvur_Entropy | Jan 11, 2021 |
Interesting ideas, quick read. If you think of it more as a transcribed speech than as well-thought-through-expose, and you'll be happy with it. ( )
  pedstrom | Dec 22, 2020 |
I'm not sure what to think about this book; I found myself agreeing with Gatto's thesis despite all of his terrible arguments and proposed solutions for why the government monopoly education system is terrible. The book is in the form of several of Gatto's essays, but I would only suggest reading the first (The Psychopathic School -- coincidentally available online for free at http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Ed/GattoPsyPathSchl.htm), as the rest of the book does little but harp on these same topics over and over.

The excerpts from the book that I liked can be found here:
http://sandymaguire.me/books/john-taylor-gatto-dumbing-us-down.html ( )
  isovector | Dec 13, 2020 |
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"John Taylor Gatto's radical treatise on public education, a New Society Publishers bestseller for 25 years, continues to advocate for the unshackling of children and learning from formal schooling. Now, in an ever-more-rapidly changing world with an explosion of alternative routes to learning, it's poised to continue to shake the world of institutional education for many more years."--

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