49 quotes from Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling: ‘I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: sch. The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille How to Read a Book by. Thirty years in New York City’s public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A highly praised best-seller for over a decade, this is a radical treatise on public education that concludes that compulsory government schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in a machine.

This Special Collector’s Edition celebratescopies or the book in print, and the book’s on-going importance and popularity. Paperbackpages. Published March 1st by New Society Publishers first published United States of America.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Dumbing Us Downplease sign up. What page is this quote found on? See 1 question about Dumbing Us Down…. Lists with This Book. Apr 06, Umm Layth rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Boy, was I wrong.

Our children are being limited every day by being locked away. Our children are struggling with learning more than they did before the system was in place like today. The role models they take on during school really are harming them. But it is much more than that. And if you are a parent who cares about your child, you must read this book. There is no excuse to remaining ignorant about our public school system in America.

Do it for your children. There is no other person in the world who cares more about your children than you, who knows what is better for your kids than you. But do your research. They deserve to be given the best education for life. This book gets a big “meh” from me. First of all, it’s not so much a book as a group of essays. And I had to laugh when I opened the book and the print was freaking 18 point.

Like maybe we’re not bright enough to follow along with typical 12 point print? I also have a problem with someone who spent his whole career in New York school systems making broad sweeping statements about public education in general. I have a hard time believing that a New York City educator understands ANYTHING about the kind of education I had — in rural Montana, where we had one school district for our entire town and the ranch and reservation kids were bused in and I graduated with 83 people.

Those are two completely different worlds. And there are as many different school environments are there are different schools in the country. It also bothered me that he made such generalized, sensational statements. ALL his students watch too much TV and it’s ruining them. Every single one of your students? How do you know that? He also said that double-income families are ruining our children, along with the lack of inter-generational interaction. How, then, does my life where both husband and wife work but kiddo spends all day with grandma and grandpa fit into that equation?


He has a few good points within the book, but I’m disappointed that what is supposed to be an intellectual argument relies so heavily on sensational, fact less claims and overgeneralizations. View all 3 comments. Nov 25, Debbie “DJ” rated it really liked it Shelves: Wow, this read really had me questioning our educational system. Informative and fast read! View all 5 comments. Oct 17, Ben rated it liked it Recommends it for: 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.

Dumbing Us Down Quotes by John Taylor Gatto

For instance he hold Mass. However he leaves a few key facts out, the first is that there taulor compulsory education in that time, in the ‘s starting in 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 dukbing than Mass.

The third problem seems to be fairly obvious.

As far as I could tell looking around, the studies show the literacy rates tajlor citizens in a time when black bj and women were not considered citizens, twylor 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.

If you go to his website you will see a link to a group he started called the Odysseus group http: 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 b solutions and his propaganda as well. If you don’t believe me look at my other book selections. View all 4 comments.

Sep 01, Mark rated it did not like it Shelves: I checked this book out after a friend recommended John Taylor Gatto to me after an argument on a Facebook thread that started with a post about how we seem to be producing tyalor who have contempt for science and reason.

Gatto spent a few decades as a NYC public school teacher, so in theory he should have interesting ideas about what’s wrong with education and how to address the problems, but in practice, he doesn’t. In a nutshell his thesis is the public school system produces conformist non-thi I checked this book out after dumbjng friend recommended John Taylor Gatto to me after an argument on a Facebook thread that started with a post about how we seem to be producing people who have contempt for science and reason.


In a nutshell his thesis is the public school system produces conformist non-thinkers.

Dumbing Us Down Quotes

And it’s part of an implied conspiracy, which started after the Civil War, with the purpose of indoctrinating children by separating them from their communities and families and imposing systems of networks in place of community, with the ultimate goal of imposing centralized societal control. Things were so much better for education in 17th colonial Massachusetts where people had their own relationship with God and had to find their own truths.

And we can only solve the problems we face and improve society by dismantling the educational system and everything that supports it and return to that never-never land of colonial Massachusetts by allowing the free market to take over and give people freedom of choice. Somehow, this will not only make education better but it will solve all of society’s problems.

I found his argument lacking in many respects. He denigrates the education system as a whole but only ever worked in one district. He constantly emphasizes his experience as a teacher and status as one-time New York State teacher of the year but dismisses other people who work in the field. He idealizes the past, especially 17th century Massachusetts and his own childhood to contrast with everything he hates about modern life, but rather than address what changed in American life and why he implies it’s some grand conspiracy to destroy society as a whole and produce sheep reliant on centralized authority.

His magic solution to go back to olden times by dismantling education as we know it, including any kind of structure in the lives of students, allow people to chose their own truths, or realities, and over time the free market will correct all of the flaws and society will change on its own for the better. In other words, valuing self obsession and self interest will make things better because things like reason and rationality are hostile to freedom and oppressive.

How a system that he claims worked in a small community almost years ago will work in a massive and complex country that is the modern United States he doesn’t explain in any detail. He just asserts it will. And he clearly has contempt for industry but is willing to sell things through the free market where only a massive industry could replace the function currently filled by the schools he wants to destroy.

Simplistic, self-deceptive, sophist thinking at its best. Feb 04, Emma Sea rated it really liked it Shelves: Ugh, this book may have brought on my mid-life crisis. Not because Gatto is wrong, but because he’s right. The education system isn’t just broken, it’s taking completely the wrong approach. It’s designed to kill the spirit of enquiry. I’ve attended several hearings addressing formal student complaints where the student is alleging the college-level education they received was substandard because they were 1 asked to read a text book, and not given a teacher-written summary of all material that Ugh, this book may have brought on my mid-life crisis.

This is not the student’s fault: We squished their passion, love for learning, and curiousity for its own sake before they were seven.