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After over 100 years of compulsory 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 New York City 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.
John Gatto became a fierce advocate of families and young people taking back their education and learning, arguing that "genius is as common as dirt," and that conventional schooling is driving out the natural curiosity and problem-solving skills we're born with, replacing it with rule-following, fragmented time, and disillusionment.
Gatto's radical treatise on public education, a New Society Publishers bestseller for 25 years, continues to bang the drum for an unshackling of children from formal schooling thus unleashing an explosion of learning. Now, in an ever-more-rapidly changing world with a huge variery of alternative routes to learning, it's poised to continue to shake the world of institutional education for many more years.
This edition features a new foreword from Zachary Slayback, an Ivy League dropout and cofounder of tech start-up career foundry Praxis. The 25th anniversary edition will inspire new generations of parents and students to take control of learning to kickstart an empowered society of self-directed lifetime-learners.
John Gatto was a schoolteacher for 30 years. He resigned in the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times upon receiving the New York State Teacher of the Year award. He has been a fierce advocate for self-directed "guerrilla" education for decades, and is also the author of Weapons of Mass Instruction and The Underground History of American Education.
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