In his youth he attended public schools throughout the Pittsburgh Metro Area including Swissvale , Monongahela, and Uniontown as well as a Catholic boarding school in Latrobe. He did undergraduate work at Cornell , the University of Pittsburgh , and Columbia , then served in the U. Wade A. Carpenter, associate professor of education at Berry College , has called his books "scathing" and "one-sided and hyperbolic, [but] not inaccurate"  and describes himself as in agreement with Gatto.
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Oct 17, Ben rated it liked it Recommends it for: Teachers While worth reading as an wake up call to all who think the only problem with our educational system is that it needs more money it should be taken with a grain of salt, or rather a slat block.
Gatto is correct that schools act as mainly propaganda for the elite class and he may even be correct that compulsory education should not be the law of the land. At least at the high school level What he is not not good at is showing the whole picture. He says that he wants a fair discussion about the While worth reading as an wake up call to all who think the only problem with our educational system is that it needs more money it should be taken with a grain of salt, or rather a slat block.
He says that he wants a fair discussion about the subject but then engages in the same type of propganda he says he is against.
For instance he hold Mass. The second fact he leaves out is context. He states that the lack of schooling and childrens curiosity led to these high literacy rates. He leaves out that most other countries and colonies for that matter did not have compulsory education.
The non compulsory areas had lower rates than Mass. The third problem seems to be fairly obvious. As far as I could tell looking around, the studies show the literacy rates for citizens in a time when black people and women were not considered citizens, not to mention the study takes place in Mass. Since this is getting long I will not get into some of the other problems I see in his arguments, including a misrepresentation of Deweys ideas, and instead leave it with a note on his motives.
To sum up his argument it seems to be this: Industry has taken a hold of our schools and acts as a propaganda tool to socialize children to work in various industries unquestiongly, the short term solution? Give complete control over to these industries. Again, this is not coming from some right winger trying to attack new ideas, I agree with most of what Gatto says about schools being a propaganda tool. I just disagree with his solutions and his propaganda as well.
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
So 3 times 4 can equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer. For the most part, the Common Core steers away from giving students a concrete picture of the world. And bucking the tumultuous trend of the declining education in America is exactly what Gatto sought to accomplish in his first book. Dumbing Us Down — The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling was published in , and is a masterly opening salvo and in-depth overview into how public schooling really works. Gatto reinforces his main premise with a thorough examination of public schooling in America using source material he found throughout his research. Moreover, Gatto carries this out incisively with a no holds barred approach to the matter, and this is very refreshing. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes.
Dumbing Us Down
It has sold over , copies  and consists of a multitude of speeches given by the author. The book proposes that radical change is needed to the American educational system to turn around the negative socialization that children receive. Main thesis[ edit ] Gatto asserts the following regarding what school does to children in Dumbing Us Down: It confuses the students. It presents an incoherent ensemble of information that the child needs to memorize to stay in school. Apart from the tests and trials, this programming is similar to the television; it fills almost all the "free" time of children. One sees and hears something, only to forget it again.
Book Review: Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
John Taylor Gatto