Dumbing Us Down
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Dumbing Us Down : The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

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After over 100 years of mandatory 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 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.

He became a fierce advocate of families and young people taking back education and learning, arguing that "genius is as common as dirt," but 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 and learning from formal schooling. Now, in an ever-more-rapidly changing world with an explosion of alternative routes to learning, it's poised to continue to shake the world of institutional education for many more years.

Featuring a new foreword from Zachary Slayback, an Ivy League dropout and cofounder of tech start-up career foundry Praxis, this 25th anniversary edition will inspire new generations of parents and students to take control of learning and kickstart an empowered society of self-directed lifetime-learners.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 153 x 229 x 12.7mm | 226.8g
  • Gabriola Island, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 0865718547
  • 9780865718548
  • 22,756

Back cover copy

A bestseller for 25 years, John Taylor Gatto's radical treatise on public education continues to advocate for the unshackling of children and learning from formal schooling



We don't need school reform. Schools are working exactly as their designers intended. We need more choices and options outside of school. At the end of the day, the person who creates those is you. Stop waiting for permission from others and create opportunities to learn. - ZACHARY SLAYBACK, from the Foreword



Education's most original thinker. - DANIEL H. PINK, author, Free Agent Nation



AFTER OVER 100 YEARS of mandatory 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 public school system led John Taylor Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling is to blame.



He became a fierce advocate of families and young people taking back education and learning, arguing that "genius is as common as dirt," but 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 continues to bang the drum for an unshackling of children and learning from formal schooling. Now, in an ever-more-rapidly changing world, with an explosion of alternative routes to learning, it's poised to continue to shake the world of institutional education for many more years.



JOHN TAYLOR GATTO was a schoolteacher for 30 years. He resigned in the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal 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



A one-man intellectual insurgency. - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Table of contents

Foreword, by Zachary Slayback

1. THE SEVEN-LESSON SCHOOLTEACHER
2. THE PSYCHOPATHIC SCHOOL
3. THE GREEN MONONGAHELA
4. WE NEED LESS SCHOOL, NOT MORE
5. THE CONGREGATIONAL PRINCIPLE
Foreword to the First Edition, by Thomas Moore
About the Author
A Note About the Publisher
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About John Taylor Gatto

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.

Zachary Slayback is an entrepreneur, Ivy League dropout, and communicator, focusing on issues of education, innovation, and social change. He's the author of The End of School (2016) and a founding team member at Praxis, an apprenticeship program for young people looking for a real-world education.
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4,995 ratings
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