REVIEW Weapons of Mass Instruction A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling 107

Weapons of Mass Instruction A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

FREE DOWNLOAD Weapons of Mass Instruction A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

“Gatto draws on thirty years in the classroom and many years of research as a school reformer He puts forth his thesis with a rhetorical style that is passionate logical and laden with examples and illustrations” ForeWord Magazine“Weapons of Mass Instruction is probably his best yet Gatto’s storytelling skill shines as he relates tales of real people who fled the school system and succeeded in spite of the popular wisdom that insists on diplomas degrees and credentials If you are just beginning to suspect there may be a problem with schooling as opposed to educating as Gatto would say then you’ll not likely find a better expose of the problem than Weapons of Mass Instruction” Cathy Duffy ReviewsIn this book the noisy gadfly of US education takes up the uestion of damage done in the name of schooling Again he touches on many of the same uestions and finds the same answers  Gatto is a bold and compelling critic in a field defined by politic statements and from. If you have like me spent much of your life as a student and teacher in the public schools 24 of the last 28 years John Taylor Gatto will make you angry and want to throw his book out the window His libertarian views on institutionalized public schooling are blunt and harsh Compulsory schooling is a weapon that destroys the joys of knowledge motivation to succeed creativity and family cohesion As I look out on my graduating seniors who have spent the last 13 years in a rat race of GPA SAT and college admissions I cannot help but agree with Gatto's premise These students are drained and some are a bit angry at the system that put them through the wringerAnd if we are honest with ourselves most of us would agree with Gatto's point that degrees do not make us smarter and successful Degrees are simply rites of passage proving desire than knowledge consumption over synthesis To this I think Gatto makes his best argument for the deficiencies of compulsory schooling Schools do not make us smarter Unfortunately for someone so bent on changing the system he offers little information in what a transition from compulsory schooling to open sourced learning might look like and how society would benefit other than homeschooling or giving individuals the freedom to invent things for the rest of us to consume Gatto is good at hindsight bias like any skilled historian is However he is short on foresight which all leaders of revolutions are supposed to possess

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Arwin 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 manageableRealizing that goal demands that the young be conditioned to rely upon experts remain divided from natural alliances and accept disconnections from the experiences that create self reliance and independenceEscaping this trap reuires 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 “WalkaboutLondon” this different reality is illustratedJohn Taylor Gatto taught for thirty years in public schools before resigning from school teaching in 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 refor. I almost gave this just 2 stars The author raises some good points and I give him a full third star for clueing me in to the idea that 12 13 years of compulsory schooling is not the best use of our time at least not the way we go about it However his arguments are anectdotal he meanders all over the place and has a few post hoc fallacies going never mind the borderline conspiricy theories

John Taylor Gatto ´ 7 REVIEW

The first pages of this book he takes even unwilling readers along with him In Weapons of Mass Instruction he speaks movingly to readers' deepest desires for an education that taps their talents and frees frustrated ambitions It is a challenging and extraordinary book that is a must read for anyone navigating their way through the school system Ria Julien Winnipeg Free PressJohn Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of familiar schooling that 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 that now famous expression of the title into common use worldwide Weapons of Mass Instruction promises to add another chilling metaphor to the brief against schoolingHere is a demonstration that the harm school inflicts is uite rational and deliberate following high level political theories constructed by Plato Calvin Spinoza Fichte D. John Taylor Gatto is one of those voices in the wilderness that we all really need to listen to And one of the things that really sticks out to me is that he is a very gentle man just watch his interviews on youtubeI have both read this book in my early days of homeschooling and listened to it on audio I think the thing that really strikes me here is What Exactly is the role of public school in our society I won't get into my own homeschooling journey and search for answers to that uestion but I will say Mr Gatto's work opened my eyes in a way they hadn't been opened before His understanding of children what they are actually capable of compared to how we treat them was almost enough to bring one to tears His struggles to create an educational environment for his pupils border on heroic I will warn you John Taylor Gatto is a bit of a 'gateway drug' into the darker underbelly of public school His books lead me to an almost horror filled fascination with this subject and answers to uestions I hadn't yet asked Even if you find Mr Gatto's claims a bit farther fetched than you are prepared for it doesn't take long before you realize Mr Gatto was actually painting things rosier than how they really stand Shrouded Memory is a challenging and extraordinary book that The Gypsy's Song (Destiny's Consent) is a must read for anyone navigating their way through the school system Ria Julien Winnipeg Free PressJohn Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of familiar schooling that cripple Titanic Lessons for It Projects 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 that now famous expression of the title Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed: Texts Translated and Edited with Introductions into common use worldwide Weapons of Mass Instruction promises to add another chilling metaphor to the brief against schoolingHere Dragon Age (Dragon Age 1) is a demonstration that the harm school Origins Rising inflicts Keteknikan Videografi: Membuat Film Pendek dan Video Iklan untuk SMK Semester 1 is uite rational and deliberate following high level political theories constructed by Plato Calvin Spinoza Fichte D. John Taylor Gatto Beware a Scots Revenge (School for Heiresses, is one of those voices Humor Writing: Activities for the English Classroom in the wilderness that we all really need to listen to And one of the things that really sticks out to me The Dewdrops ... a journey begins is that he The Dewdrops ... a journey begins is a very gentle man just watch his Bußpredigt: Ein Krimi aus dem Bayerischen Wald interviews on youtubeI have both read this book Gëzofi folës dhe Luka i vogël in my early days of homeschooling and listened to Two Wheels and a Map it on audio I think the thing that really strikes me here Two Wheels and a Map is What Exactly Her Wolf Savior is the role of public school Set Theory Objects in our society I won't get Antologia del Teatro Espanol del Siglo XVI: del Palacio Al Corral into my own homeschooling journey and search for answers to that uestion but I will say Mr Gatto's work opened my eyes Y Tu Mama Tambien: Spiral (Spanish Edition) in a way they hadn't been opened before His understanding of children what they are actually capable of compared to how we treat them was almost enough to bring one to tears His struggles to create an educational environment for his pupils border on heroic I will warn you John Taylor Gatto Getting Genki In Japan: The Adventures and Misadventures of an American Family in Tokyo is a bit of a 'gateway drug' The Nose on My Face into the darker underbelly of public school His books lead me to an almost horror filled fascination with this subject and answers to uestions I hadn't yet asked Even Waiting for the Rainbow if you find Mr Gatto's claims a bit farther fetched than you are prepared for Der Talisman Des Rosenkreuzers Roman it doesn't take long before you realize Mr Gatto was actually painting things rosier than how they really stand


10 thoughts on “Weapons of Mass Instruction A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

  1. says:

    If you have like me spent much of your life as a student and teacher in the public schools 24 of the last 28 years John Taylor Gatto will make you angry and want to throw his book out the window His libertarian views on institutionalized public schooling are blunt and harsh Compulsory schooling is a weapon that destroys the joys of knowledge motivation to succeed creativity and family cohesion As I look out on my graduating seniors who have spent the last 13 years in a rat race of GPA SAT and college admissions I cannot help but agree with Gatto's premise These students are drained and some are a bit angry at the system that put them through the wringerAnd if we are honest with ourselves most of us would agree with Gatto's point that degrees do not make us smarter and successful Degrees are simply rites of passage proving desire than knowledge consumption over synthesis To this I think Gatto makes his best argument for the deficiencies of compulsory schooling Schools do not make us smarter Unfortunately for someone so bent on changing the system he offers little information in what a transition from compulsory schooling to open sourced learning might look like and how society would benefit other than homeschooling or giving individuals the freedom to invent things for the rest of us to consume Gatto is good at hindsight bias like any skilled historian is However he is short on foresight which all leaders of revolutions are supposed to possess


  2. says:

    I really enjoyed this book respect John Taylor Gatto and agree with most of what he's saying But a few things stopped me from giving Weapons of Mass Instruction 4 or even 5 stars Most importantly1 His overblown admiration of the colonial and early national period of American history Arguing that that period was a time of unparalleled promise and opportunity is not only morally suspect in my opinion but also historically inaccurate Sure maybe if you weren't one of the one fifth of the population considered property a member of half the population who had vaginas and were therefore essentially property one of the millions of Native Americans slaughtered or dispossessed or one of the majority motley proletariatpropertyless who fared no better in their newly independent democracy than they had under British rule sure then maybe you had access to an AWESOME education in early America The systematic injustices that Gatto argues the school system perpetuates is not an aberration of the founding fathers' vision it was a structuring component of it Period Thus I think this book could have been a lot stronger if it didn't repeatedly suggest that we need to return to the good ole days of early national America2 Structure As in this book had almost none I thought it started off strong but very uickly became a meandering rant punctuated by a few case studies of people who dropped out of school but are still successful Which is not to say it's not an entertaining rant but still This lack of cohesiveness undermines in my opinion his larger argument about the point of schools 3 Related to point #2 there were times where I wondered if Gatto had an editor for this book I know I know English is a dynamic language and blah blah blah blah it's lame to get hung up on grammar blah blah blah I say this as someone who taught English in college and really hated when my colleagues emphasized traditional and virtually useless grammar instruction at the expense of nurturing critical thought But some of the grammar mistakes in this text were DISTRACTING Paired with the structure I sometimes I felt like I was just intuiting Gatto's unedited thoughts straight from his brainWhich is again not to say that they're not very important and interesting unedited thoughts I just thought this book lost a lot of steam as it moved forward and could have been a lot stronger 4 I think the idea that schools should be turned over to the free market the same free market that appears to be at the root of all the other problems Gatto bemoans? REPREHENSIBLE 'Nuff saidI would recommend Dumbing Us Down although it shares some of these problems particularly #1 before recommending this one


  3. says:

    This seems mostly like an abbreviated version of his The Underground History of American Education which I am currently reading I thought it served its purpose effectively and agree with its conclusionsMy wife commented on the book's lack of formal foot or endnotes but the author describes his reasons for doing so calling out many references on the fly in the text and opining that the ideas are important than the specific location of facts anyone can check online This may or may not suit youMost people would think it beyond radical to contemplate the idea of dismantling our public education system completely but I'm also completely comfortable with the idea of completely dismantling many other taken for granted institutions so this work is right in my wheelhouseWhen you pause to consider the baggage of money and influence involved in education and the fact that the correlation between increased funding and results is actually negative not to mention that the schools are Lord of the Flies pits of violence and alienation you have to recognize that the current system is an epic disasterAddionally if you think that certain things just have to be taught pick your issue evolution various characteristics of government morals religion whatever you might also pause that for every thing to force people to learn some other group is forcing your kids to learn something you don't like Like they say compromise is the art of reaching a solution that doesn't make anybody happyBasic reading takes about 30 hours to learn Basic math is about the same Everything else can flow from there naturallyWhy all the overhead?


  4. says:

    John Taylor Gatto is one of those voices in the wilderness that we all really need to listen to And one of the things that really sticks out to me is that he is a very gentle man just watch his interviews on youtubeI have both read this book in my early days of homeschooling and listened to it on audio I think the thing that really strikes me here is What Exactly is the role of public school in our society?? I won't get into my own homeschooling journey and search for answers to that uestion but I will say Mr Gatto's work opened my eyes in a way they hadn't been opened before His understanding of children what they are actually capable of compared to how we treat them was almost enough to bring one to tears His struggles to create an educational environment for his pupils border on heroic I will warn you John Taylor Gatto is a bit of a 'gateway drug' into the darker underbelly of public school His books lead me to an almost horror filled fascination with this subject and answers to uestions I hadn't yet asked Even if you find Mr Gatto's claims a bit farther fetched than you are prepared for it doesn't take long before you realize Mr Gatto was actually painting things rosier than how they really stand


  5. says:

    Every homeschooler should read this work by John Taylor Gatto and in fact everyone who went through the public schoolsystem or who has a child in the public school system that is in the American sense not the British should read it tooIt is a darkly descriptive book telling why the school systems are the way they are and how they got that way I can summarise the basic premises in the book thusCompulsory schooling is a construct of a small number of people with the following aims in mind a To instruct people in WHAT to think b To prolong childhood to make the people easily manipulated c To prevent individual thought d To make money e To reduce the power of family by dividing and conuering f To prevent 'over production' which is an excess of inventions rapidly changing products g To make it easier for corporations to convince people to buy their stuff Standardised tests have little to no correlation to knowledge or intelligenceUniversities teach very little that people retain later and are run on monetary concernsI am sure I missed some parts and I certainly missed out the corroborating resources that Gatto uses to illustrate his pointsTruthfully told it was not particularly surprising The information he gave was such that it explained to my husband and me that I had thought It showed us that a lot of the issues we see with modern schooling and the products of that system are deliberateBut rather than try to explain it all I urge you to read the book for yourself To digest the information for yourself and THEN make up your mind After all I am not trying to force MY ideas and beliefs upon you unlike the typical school system does ;


  6. says:

    Massively disappointing I had been looking forward to reading this for ages ever since I heard a positive review on boing boing's podcast The topic is one that I completely identify with which is probably why I was so diappointed ie the book contain a germ of a great idea but has no substanceFrom the start my alarm bells were set off by the number of unsupported assertions the author was making no footnotes or referencesThe examples of successful people that Gatto presents do not support his argument either A bit of basic googling unravels the falsifications that he presents eg Craig Venter is presented as a beach bum drop out He actually has a conventional academic history high school grad PhD I won't list them all but a bit of basic research really undermines his arguments And who wants their kid to be like Richard Branson anyway? He's picked some strange examplesOther reviewers have pointed out Gatto's rose tinted view of pre war America I'm not American so I don't know it intimately but this bias was obvious Other biases that I took personally Gatto completely deliberately? misconstrues Darwin as a eugenicist and Marx as irrelevant The book is unstructured repeats itself and comes across as a rant from a bitter ex teacher


  7. says:

    I almost gave this just 2 stars The author raises some good points and I give him a full third star for clueing me in to the idea that 12 13 years of compulsory schooling is not the best use of our time at least not the way we go about it However his arguments are anectdotal he meanders all over the place and has a few post hoc fallacies going never mind the borderline conspiricy theories


  8. says:

    While it might seem heretical to recommend this book on teacher appreciation week yes it used to be a day of thanks but has been perverted into a week long orgy but I cant hold back my own anger over all the time wasted by compulsory schooling While I don't want this to sound like a rant against teachers of whom there are many I am very fond of and have a great deal of respect for As parents we need to critically examine the system in which our children are trapped in 6 hours a day 5 days a week 9 months a year for 12 years of their lives It is very complicated but it is a lot important than who wins American IdolIn 1995 a student teacher of 5th graders in Minneapolis wrote a letter to the editor of the Star Tribune complaining about radically dumbed down curriculum She wrote that 113 years earlier 5th graders in Minneapolis were reading William Shakespeare Henry Thoreau George Washington Sir Walter Scott Mark Twain Benjamin Franklin Oliver Wendall Holmes John Buynan Daniel Webster Samuel Johnson Lewis Caroll Thomas Jefferson Emerson and others like themWhile this week my own 5th grader complained about the snails pace at which her gifted class was reading the book Where the Red Fern Grows a lovely little book but not Shakespeare Have you looked recently at the text books checked out to high school students? Why are we not paying attention to this chicanery? Is it because the testing they take says that they are gifted or average or special ed and we have become so complacent that we allow the experts put our children into a box that will either give them a false sense of security or a self loathing that that get to live in for the rest of their lives While some students may be lucky enough to find their niche like musicsportsdebatedrama etc and have a teacher who expects than fact regurgitation and high test scores but actual self reliance personal discovery and inventiveness it saddens me to think how many never do I have always thought home schoolers a little bit odd and stifling for keeping their kids out of mainstream education and not wanting them to grow up in the real world But after learning about the travesty that is the history of the education system and meditating on my own experiences both as a student and as a parent I concede that compulsory education is far likely to produce childish adults then independent learning Maybe there should be a home school appreciation week however I think that they might be too sensible to go for it


  9. says:

    If you always hated school growing up this book articulates why The purpose of compulsory school isn't to prepare you to enter the real world and make a living doing what you love The purpose is to teach you compliance and get in the habit of doing mind numbing tasks you don't enjoy for eight hours a day The possibility that dumb people don't exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the many careers devoted to tending them may seem incredible to you Yet that is my proposition mass dumbness first had to be imagined; it isn't real If you put fleas in a shallow container they jump out But if you put a lid on the container for just a short time they hit the lid trying to escape and learn uickly not to jump so high They give up their uest for freedom After the lid is removed the fleas remain imprisoned by their own self policing So it is with life Most of us let our own fears or the impositions of others imprison us in a world of low expectations


  10. says:

    I'm extremely sympathetic to the homeschoolingunschooling movement It may be something my wife and I have an epic battle on when it's all said and done but I get it I see the inherent flaws in the current way we do schools and I don't want my future spawn to be a part of itJohn Taylor Gatto former teacher gets it as well As someone who was a teacher for 30 years he possibly gets it better than most and this book is his treatise against modern education and what needs to change about it If you're at all involvedinterestedknowledgeable about homeschoolingunschooling this is not a lot of new stuff but the vitriol and anger he has toward the system as well as the strong ideas he has in terms of fixing what is clearly a problem is worth notingThe flaw in this book as written however is twofold One it spends much too much time on the problem and not nearly enough on the solution Granted the solution is self evident in many ways but a person who needs the problem spelled out to them is going to need the solution as well Problematically however the solution is coming from someone who comes across as extremely radicalized with merit This is a message that needs to be heard disseminated implemented but I'm not convinced this is necessarily the guy to do itIt's worth reading Either you'll hear what you recognize from someone with the experience to back it up or you'll be exposed to a new idea that might have never crossed your mind This should however result in being a starting point not an ending point


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