Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Book Review: Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto

Dumbing Us Down Will Shake You Up!
(Book Review)

Here is a book that should be at the top of your reading list. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto. I strongly recommend you immediately drop everything, pick up a copy of this book and don't put it down again until you have read every last word in it!

John Taylor Gatto has written several publications on the subject of school. He should know, he taught for twenty-six years in the public school system and was chosen New York City's Teacher of the Year for three consecutive years and Teacher of the Year for New York State in 1990. In his biographical note Gatto says: "...slowly I began to realize that the bells and confinement, the crazy sequences, the age-segregation, the lack of privacy, the constant surveillance, and all the rest of the national curriculum of schooling were designed exactly as if someone had set out to prevent children from learning how to think and act, to coax them into addiction and dependent behavior."

Gatto has put his finger on one of the main reasons our public schools are failing us. He knows there is a gargantuan problem with the system, describes it and tells us what needs to be done about it. The only thing he doesn't tell us is there is a name for it. Other authors since Gatto, including Charles J. Sykes, Ron Sunseri and Robert Holland, have put a face on the 'monster'. It's called Outcome Based Education--America 2000--Goals 2000--and it's sucking the life out of our public schools and our children.

Dumbing Us Down is a large type 104 page book that is well worth the $9.95 investment. Gatto hits the nail on the head with this view of schooling. It's a powerful book. It will enlighten, inspire and excite. A good explanation for the violence that is slowly strangling our society.

Dumbing Us Down ISBN 0-86571-231-X

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