After over 100 years of mandatory schooling in the U.S., literacy rates have dropped, families are fragmented, learning "disabilities" are skyrocketing, and children and youth are increasingly disaffected. Thirty years of teaching in the public school system led John Taylor Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling is to blame, accomplishing little but to teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine.More info →
"The World's Most Courageous Teacher" reveals the inner circle secrets of the American school system. The legendary schoolteacher, John Taylor Gatto, invested over 10 years of dedicated research to uncover some of the most alarming ideas and writings by the creators and advocates of mandatory attendance schooling, which show where the system came from and why it was created. He combined these facts with his personal experience as a teacher for 30 years in New York public schools, where he won many awards, including being named State Teacher of the Year twice, and has authored an all-time classic. This book was originally published in 2001, and has been printed a number of times. However, this updated version includes new essays from the author, as well as contributions from Dr. Ron Paul, David Ruenzel, and Richard Grove. This is the first of a 3 book volume which will help the reader gain a solid understanding about the American school organization and many of the hidden, yet powerful parts. In this first of set, Mr. Gatto's humble yet bold personality, mixed with humor and class, makes it an enjoyable read, despite the importance and implications of the subject. Mr. Gatto says, "It's time to take our schools back. If they mean to have a war, let it begin now."More info →
John Taylor Gatto's Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of traditional education which cripple imagination, discourage critical thinking, and create a false view of learning as a byproduct of rote-memorization drills. Gatto's earlier book, Dumbing Us Down, introduced the now-famous expression of the title into the common vernacular. Weapons of Mass Instruction adds another chilling metaphor to the brief against conventional schooling.
Gatto demonstrates that the harm school inflicts is rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy, he argues, is to render the common population manageable. To that end, young people must be conditioned to rely upon experts, to remain divided from natural alliances and to accept disconnections from their own lived experiences. They must at all costs be discouraged from developing self-reliance and independence.
Escaping this trap requires a strategy Gatto calls "open source learning" which imposes no artificial divisions between learning and life. Through this alternative approach our children can avoid being indoctrinated-only then can they achieve self-knowledge, good judgment, and courage.