Weapons of Mass Instruction
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A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling
By John Gatto
John Taylor Gatto's Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of familiar schooling which 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 the now-famous expression of the title in 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 the young be conditioned to rely upon experts, conditioned to remain divided from natural alliances, conditioned to accept disconnections from the experiences, which 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 30 years in public schools before resigning from schoolteaching on 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.
Paperback - 192 pages
This is a "must read" for every parent, whether homeschooling or not. The only way to insure an excellent education for your children is to understand the drawbacks to conventional schooling and find ways to combat the negatives. John Gatto gives us a rare and precious insight into what passes for "education" in our schools. Study this book and ponder the points he makes. Homeschool families are in a unique position to take advantage of this knowledge and give their children so much more than the conveyor belt of conventional schooling can provide.
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