February 20, 2017
For quite some time there has been a growing undercurrent of displeasure and outright disdain for the current public schooling system and its repeated failures throughout the years. Predictably, driving reason for these displeasures are the consistent failures of students within a public schooling.
No matter how many new additional methods are added and no matter how much more money – usually in the hundreds of millions – is employed, the dumbing down of society continues, like clockwork. And yet, the same suggestions by government and school officials keep getting mentioned, even though the results are abysmal at best, and exactly what some want, at worse. Didn’t a wise man once say that doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is text book lunacy?
A voice of reason that has come out swinging in this battle against pedagogical propaganda and this creature of conformity is John Taylor Gatto.
Not only is John Taylor Gatto the former NY City and NY State Teacher of the year , but he has made numerous efforts in detailing not only the pervading dumbing down of the public school system which has been in play for many decades now, and which he touches upon Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Public Schooling, but Gatto also touches upon the conformity crisis that’s taking place with children brought about through the deliberate social engineering of youth from the bottom up.
For instance, as is detailed in the book, and has been mentioned in documentaries and other books:
“In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present education conventions of intellectual and character education fade from their minds, and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk.
We shall not try to make these people, or any of their children, into philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for great artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen — of whom we have an ample supply. The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.”[Bold Emphasis Added]
There is no ‘beating around the bush’ here. That’s the agenda, and has always been. Countless quotes from this book and Gatto’s other book speak at length of this very issue.
In Weapons Of Mass Instruction, Gatto takes one step further and analyzes many of the components that set out to eviscerate imagination and critical thought in myriad ways.
Not to be outdone, Gatto not only shows why the public school system doesn’t work in its current form, but shows how particular individuals throughout history have performed downright amazing feats of human ingenuity without what the ‘experts’ would call ‘public schooling’. Examples of these people are John Kanzius, who found a way to kill cancer that ‘experts’ hadn’t considered, and had no background in the field; Charles Webb, who wrote the film The Graduate; Ingvar Kamprad, who created IKEA; Frances Collins and Craig Venter, who had nigh no schooling, and wound up creating the human genome map for the Human Genome Project, and countless others.
Each of the above individuals did things, profound things, that went against the system, and showed that not only can you make it, but you can make it BIG as an individual. And that’s also why Gatto’s words resonate with many. Education is distinct to each individual, while public schooling is about homogenizing people and creating clones who are predictable, conform at the drop of the hat, and do not question anything, at all, whatsoever.
Don’t believe me? Great, you’re skeptical, and even question, and that’s outstanding. Now listen to what comes from one of the very people who pushed this indoctrination system on the masses.
To fully realize what’s taking place, let’s take a gander at what William Torrey Harris [the ‘premier Hegelian philosophers in America’], was thinking and mentioned about public schooling over a century ago:
“Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual…
The great purpose of school [self-alienation] can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places…It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.”
It doesn’t get any more cut and dry than that. And there are many more sourced quotes speaking of the intentional dumbing down of society, with verifiable sources, just like that, if not worse. For additional information on this troublesome subject, please read Dumbing Us Down & A Different Kind Of Teacher, also by John Taylor Gatto.
In summation, if one could ever do a synopsis of such an issue that filters into the very strata of society, then what Gatto has been doing is nothing less than yeomen’s work in the field of Education – true education. Not only has Gatto been active in fanning the fires of dissent within the corrupt public schooling system, but he’s also made it a point to show what it takes to breakaway from the current corrupt system and also what it takes for individuals to shine brightly enough to blare away the darkness.
If we as individuals and a society are ever going to regain the classical and robust education that we once had, at this moment in time we must do it ourselves – each and every one of us. Furthermore, while becoming autodidacts and following paths of self-directed learning we need to show others the above truths and if need be take them under our wings and help them see the light of day. We need to show them what’s possible because many individuals breakaway from the system and have rousing successes, as Gatto shows in his book.
Sources & References
 John Taylor Gatto, quoting Rev. Frederick T. Gates, Business Advisor to John D. Rockefeller Sr., 1913, Occasional Letter Number One, General Education Board, Weapons Of Mass Destruction, p. 8
 John Taylor Gatto, quoting The Philosophy Of Education, 1908, Weapons Of Mass Instruction, p. 13
Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:
Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi
The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors