Buy Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling 2nd by John Taylor Gatto, Thomas Moore (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s. 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. Dumbing Us Down. John Taylor Gatto. My father is a born teacher. He’s the kind of man who can spot a potential learner from a distance and go into action.

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Trivia About Dumbing Us Kohn Not bad, but not great, either. Every single one of your students? Unless, taking us all back to an agrarian society is his solution, which he talks about and seems to long for — an idealized past that never existed for everyone. We fail to let the free market forces and local choices define and perfect our school system and democracy to work by letting people alone to work out the best solutions.

Our children are being limited every djmbing by being locked away. I thought gtato giving a review on each of Gatto’s essays in the book, which are arranged as chapters, but without having source citations which he did not provide to cross reference I’ll be simply be agreeing with what sounds good to me based on Gatto’s years of teaching and wisdom at that time in six New York schools of vastly differing social strata; and that of my Public schooling.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto

So here’s the thing, I actually agreed with some of the things he said. First of all, it’s not so much a book as a group of essays.

To ask other readers questions about Dumbing Us Downplease sign up. Everything worth learning, in the equivalent of two and a half school-weeks?

I didn’t enjoy reading this book. View all 3 comments. I found his argument lacking in many respects.

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Dumbing Us Down Quotes by John Taylor Gatto

Learning All The Time. Therefore, we need less schooling, not more.

For that reason alone, Dumbing Us Down is an intriguing book. But now I listened to the audiobook again, he seemed increasingly reasonable and sound to me. So, his solution to all the problems is to de-certify teachers and do away with public education. Apr 06, Umm Layth rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: The children I teach are cruel to each other, they lack compassion for misfortune, they laugh at weakness, they have contempt for people whose need for help shows too plainly.

Gatto says public schools are: This guy really hits the nail on the head. He leaves out that most other countries and colonies for that matter did not have compulsory education.


Bells inoculate each undertaking with indifference. This book is proof that home educators are not obsessive nutcases, as he provides inside information on schooling in New York which spanned over 30 years.

He says even clubs are not good because they maintain a pretense of whole friendship.

Gatto clearly states the seven ingredients of a national curriculum. The children I teach are ahistorical, they have no sense of how past has predestined their own present, limiting their choices, shaping their values and lives. The third problem seems to be fairly obvious. Nov 12, Taylene rated it it was amazing.

There’s also nothing to this book besides complaining. How, then, does my life where both husband and wife work but kiddo spends all dowb with grandma and grandpa fit into that equation? TV is another powerful control tool of the kids After the prisondom of school.

An ‘s 5th grade math textbook would today be considered college level. Seven Deadly Sins of Schooling Factory-schooling is guilty of its own deadly sins. johb

Gatto is quite critical of the public schools as a system. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and donw synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does. In my current job, I get to work Gatto seemed to me at first, a bit to polemical and unbalanced, but I still thought he made some excellent observations.


There is no excuse to remaining ignorant about our public school system in America. Years of bells will condition all but the strongest to a world that can no longer offer important work to do.

It is a must read for anyone who wishes their children to be educated, not just “schooled”. Like maybe we’re not bright enough to follow along with typical 12 point print? But schooling is a wonderful hustle, getting sharper all the time.

Our type of schooling has deliberately concealed the fact that such a question must be framed and not taken for granted if anything beyond a mockery of democracy is to be nurtured.

However he leaves a few key facts out, the first is that there was compulsory education in that time, in the ‘s starting in Mass. The children I teach have almost no curiosity and what they do have is transitory; they cannot concentrate for very long, even on things they choose to do.

Dumbing Us Down

At eighty-eight, having retired from teaching plumbing in a trade school, he taught courses in a local school to adults who wanted to learn how to use computers. My biggest problem with this book is, being a series of essays, it’s a bit repetitive. Another fault I felt Gatto fell into was his focus entirely on the negative, leaving no redemption for any aspect of the current structure or those successful models within, which there must be.