7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts

Books1
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 26, 2017

“A mind needs books like as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
– George R.R. Martin A Song Of Ice And Fire

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”
– John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.

Education is the most vital component of an individual’s repertoire.  Without it, the individual is like a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly amidst the seas of life

For that reason it is imperative to make sure individuals continue to educate themselves, no matter what stage of life they are in.  This is why the following list has been composed.

Each of the books reviewed below offer abundant wisdom from which to learn from.  Considering we are in an age where public schooling is about conformity, division, dumbing people down, and more, it would be wise for individuals to take their own education into their hands.

The books below will help individuals cement a firm foundation upon to be able to extract the most out of life and their individual journey.  If you wish to read more about the books, press the link on the book titles to heads towards the reviews.

Book #1:  Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D

Out of all of these  7 books, this is hands down the most demanding one.  My contention though is that this book will net the most benefits because it couples into all the other subjects and areas of life, and well as each of your everyday endeavors.   While the other books below might be useful to you throughout your life, the lessons of this book will be useful every single day.  This is because logic is employed in everyday life, even if we sometimes do it automatically.

Although requiring considerable effort, the book is a much easier read than Aristotle’s Organnon, while still covering the core dynamics.  I would suggest still reading that one proceeding this one to make sure you have a firm grasp of logic.

Book #2:  The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.

Historically, the Trivium was taught as part of classical education.  That is no longer the case, however.  Because of that, it is imperative that books discussing classical education as The Trivium be ruminated upon since the trivium is one of the leading reasons why education decades and centuries ago was vastly superior than it is now.

The Trivium encompasses all aspects of grammar, logic and rhetoric.  This book is a thorough presentation on general grammar, fallacies, syllogisms, a solid logic introduction, enthymemes, poetics, figurative language , all with a hefty dose of examples from which to learn from.

Just as a house cannot be complete without a foundation, an individual’s education, no matter the age, cannot be complete without knowledge of the Trivium.

Book #3:  How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren

The title says it all.  If you want to extract the most out of all types of books, this book is a must read.  In fact, it would be a mistake not to have it because not following many of these tenets would mean only fractional understanding of certain subjects.  The book really is phenomenal and highly recommended.  It’s been popular for decades, and with good reason.

Book #4:  Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

If you want an easy-to-follow introduction to philosophy, that is accessible to lay people but also stimulating enough to get your brain cells churning, ponder this book.  It’s a very unique way of looking at philosophy.

Book #5: 
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston

This book hones your critical thinking skills better than any critical thinking class in high school does, seeing as there are no critical thinking courses in high school, and few in college.  This is ironic, because for a public school system that continues to fail, one would figure critical thinking would be at the top of agenda to implement within public schooling.  The book is affordable, has ample exercises, uses a reasonable approach that builds on itself and is easy to follow.  It’s complex enough, but not overly so.  It’s a book that’s referenced often and highly valuable.

Book #6: 
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi

Now, this piece by Cioffi brings outside-of-the-box thinking to argumentation to boot.  The author takes a rather unique approach I’ve never seen before, and one I wished was available in public schooling, but of course isn’t.  The book covers everything from essays, thesis, creative writing, paragraph design, audience considerations, writing prompts, fallacies and more.  If you’re a regular writer of any type, even if it’s not argumentation per se, I would still say this is a must read.  Or at least consider it.  As part of a homeschooling and self-directed course, this is definitely a must have though.

Book #7: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

This one’s an outside-of-the-box suggestion, but with good reason.  Sherlock Holmes hands down is the best book from which to learn critical thinking in fiction form.  If you have any suggestions to add, or better, I would really like to hear them because I am always open-minded and would like to read similar books in fictional form since it allows a reader to enjoy leisure time, while also honing the mind simultaneously.

Holmes uses his usual analytical approach that’s incisive in logic and precise in detail to solve every single case.  Some cases offer more for learning than others, but the book as a whole is something every person should read and is part of an individual’s robust cultural literacy as well.

What we as individuals accomplish in life, especially if you want to live life to the fullest, is directly proportional to what we know and are capable of.  Without robust capabilities an individual is like a leaf in the wind, merely flowing aimlessly in the wind without chosen direction.

This is why it’s crucial to make sure your education stands on firm ground.  Without it, we’re only merely ghosts of ourselves, carrying out only a fraction of what would be possible within our lives.

It’s never too late to get educated.

Seek to better yourself, every single day.

Seek to learn every day, from every person, in every instance.

Not only will that help solidify your intellectual faculties in an ironclad manner, but it will also imbue your life with more meaning than you could ever imagine.

After all, if we don’t continue our education, we surrender ourselves to self-chosen ignorance.

And who wants to do that?

___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

___________________________________________________________
Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:

7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschoolers, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
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
Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

Government Whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt Speaks At Length About Systemic Corruption Within Public Schooling

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 26, 2017

In the video below, Charlotte Iserbyt  speaks at length about the systemic corruption within the public schooling system.  As a former Senior Policy Adviser for the Office Of Educational Research & Improvement during the Reagan Administration, she was in the heart of the beast, and as so, knew the system well.  Her words should be ruminated upon seriously.  For further research, Charlotte Iserbyt’s book, The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America, gets tat the heart of the matter.

Charlotte Iserbyt also became a whistleblower about the  major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America’s classrooms.

300 Word Memories #7 – Freedom

Freedom1.jpg
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 26, 2017

Freedom is arguably the most important idea humanity has ever ruminated upon and realized. Knowing this, then, isn’t it the least bit suspicious that the idea of Freedom isn’t talked about at length in the media, school, or nigh anywhere in society?

One would figure that if the very tenet of Freedom was so important, and the government and those in the upper tiers of society and politics really cared for Freedom, there would be something called the Department Of Freedom in America, ensuring people’s freedom’s don’t get trampled on.  For the record, preventing people from carrying out crimes, and ensuring Freedoms are two very different thing.  Some “crimes” people commit are nothing more than state overreach that ironically trample all over freedom, like say, feeding the homeless.  And no, that’s not a joke.

Since this idea is so vital, and arguably the main premise of our Democratic Republic, one could argue that because the very core of this ideal is central to our society myriad courses all over America would be brought about to bring this to light.  Predictably, such is not the case.

Ask yourself, why is that so?  Why is it that The United States, the so called paragon of Freedom, does NOT teach Freedom or hold Freedom courses in its school system or universities?  Sure, Freedom is mentioned here and there, and mostly in a historical context of the past, if it is taught at all.  It takes a rather percipient individual in order to come the terms with the possible truths of those questions.

The very tenet of Freedom runs anathema to Govern-ment, which literally means to govern the mind.  Another one of those notions that school doesn’t teach you.  Now isn’t that interesting…

Instead of the system of government and public schooling laying the foundation for which people may learn about Freedom, why it’s so valuable, what it took to secure it, and why hundreds of millions have died over time seeking it, the opposite takes place.  The system is all about forbidding freedom by the application of crushing conformity, as award winning teacher and researcher John Taylor Gatto has exhaustively shown in all of his books, each of which shows documentary evidence of this going back more than a century.

The system being about conformity, and not about Freedom, is not a theory when countless documents from institutions talk about molding the individual from the ground up.  If you want further information, please read:

The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Dumbing Us Down
A Different Kind Of Teacher
Weapons Of Mass Instruction

Regardless, its time individuals take cognizance that the system is how it is because it’s been molded to be this way, although it wasn’t always like that.  Likewise, if the conformity crisis that continues to grow with impunity unabated, the future world we will walk upon will be a perfect fusion between the iron fist George Orwell showed was possible in 1984, and the velvet first Aldous Huxley showed in A Brave New World.  And that, my friends, is a very scary position, because we are on those very tracks as we speak.

Freedom is indispensable, and the comptrollers know this.  The last thing the comptrollers wish to do is have people discuss what Freedom truly means.  Such conversations lead to people seeing the full potentiality of freedom and those pulling the strings don’t want people contemplating such far-reaching ideas.

The notion of Freedom challenges everything, from the ground up, in every single life, in every single country.

Ask yourself, when is the last time you ever had a conversation about Freedom – the idea itself.

The fact that such an important tenet is overlooked – and rarely spoken about in our everyday life – should go to show how easy it is to overlook critical components in our lives, even though it seems the ideals are ever-present.  However, as many folks who’ve had their rights infringed upon know, at a moment’s notice, any individual’s Freedoms may be trampled upon.

Where are we going as a society?   How far will the infringement continue before people draw their line in the sand concrete and say enough is enough?

Hopefully none of us ever have to find out.  Then again, many people think the same thing and  end up getting railroaded by the system.

Perhaps its best to heed those examples before our very lives become the next examples of infringement.

Be proactive.

Ponder Freedom, and ponder it quite deeply.  For most days, most people don’t think of Freedom at all.
___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Common Core Crisis [Part 6] – The Seven Lesson School Teacher

conformity2
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 20, 2017

Continuing on our series in which we are taking an increasingly widening glance into the true nature of public schooling, what follows will be a snippet of the information covered in Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto.

Gatto has come out speaking at length about many of the pervasive and troubling issues that young [and future] generations have to contend with, and the information which proceeds will shed light into how this has come to be.

Within the curriculum of public schooling, Gatto states the following lessons are “universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood Hills  They constitute a national curriculum you pay for in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what it is.”[1]

Gatto, in his own words states public schooling teaches:

#1: Confusion[2]

Throughout his books, Gatto has touched upon how confusion is installed into the minds of the young – thorough the fragmentation of education.  This fragmenting of education and teaching things out of context is what’s responsible for the inculcation of what is unnatural to the mind, which only cover superficial narratives and never anything of substance.

School doesn’t teach things that are in perfect harmony with each other – a natural order.  This issue prevents kids, who turn into adults, from connecting the dots, from synthesizing information.  And this goes to explain how people cannot understand how two separate issues such as Genetically Modified Foods [that continue to be banned in dozens of countries] could ever be connected with health issues.  That’s just the beginning, though.

#2:  Class Position[3]

Class position leads to an acquiescence to conformity ideals, even though in life people of all ages, types, creeds and religions connect and interact with people from all over the spectrum.  There’s no hindering structure of conformity anywhere in nature.  This takes place only in public schooling and sections of society.

As Gatto notes:

“If I do my job well, the kids can’t even imagine themselves somewhere else because I’ve shown them how to envy and fear the better classes and how to have contempt for the dumb classes.  Under this efficient discipline the class mostly polices itself into good marching order.  That’s the real lesson of any rigged competition like school.  You come to know your place.”[4]

And then people wonder where the seeds of division are sewn.    If that were it, that would be bad enough, but school also teaches…

#3:  Indifference [5]

This is accomplished by the way subjects are taught by mere cursory glances instead of an in depth approach.  This further pulverizes possible education into fragments of disciplines and knowledge, rather than building a robust set of ideas that can help the individual connect dots see what matters.  As Gatto notes:

“…[students] must turn own and off like a light switch.  Nothing important is finished in class nor in any class I know of.  Students never have a complete experience except on the installment plan.”[6]

When you only experience slivers of knowledge, how can complete pictures of life ever be grasped?  How can one come to a meaningful understanding to the depth that life harbors?  One cannot.  Such instances lead to nothing of importance ever being learned, which of course naturally leads to the pervasive indifference part of society has been indoctrinated with.

#4:  Emotional Dependency [7]

Gatto intimates that:

“Rights may be granted or withheld by any authority without appeal, because rights do not exist inside a school – not even the right to free speech, as the Supreme Court has ruled – unless school authorities say they do.”[8]

If children can depend on themselves, who can they ‘depend’ on?  The high priests of education of public schooling, predictably.

#5:  Intellectual Dependency [9]

This issue is best encapsulated by the following statement:

“Good students wait for a teacher to tell them what to do.  This is the most important lesson of them all; we must wait for other people, better trained than ourselves, to make the meanings of our lives.  The expert makes all the important choices; Only I, the teacher, can determine what my kids must study, or rather, only the people who pay me can make those decisions, which I then reinforce.”[10]

This couples into mindless consumption, which the system is build upon.  Gatto minces no words:

“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that ten entire economy depends upon this lesson being learned.”[11]

What else could one expect when dependency is taught at the outset, and people learn to are indoctrinated to seek experts and not think for themselves?

Most importantly:

“We’ve build a way of life that depends on people doing what they are told because they don’t know how to tell themselves what to do.  It’s one of the biggest lessons I teach.”[12]

#6:  Provisional Self Esteem[13]

Simply stated:

“A monthly report, impressive in its provision, is sent into a student’s home to elicit approval or mark exactly, down to a single percentage point, how dissatisfied with the child a parent should be.  The ecology of “Good” schooling depends on perpetuating dissatisfaction, just as the commercial economy depends on the same fertilizer…the cumulative weight of these objective-seeming documents establishes a profile that compels children to arrive at certain decisions about themselves and their future based on the casual judgment of strangers.   Self-evaluation, the staple of every major philosophical system that ever appeared on the planet, is never considered a factor.  The lesson of report cards, grades, and tests is that children should not trust themselves or their parents but should instead rely on the evaluation of certified officials.  People need to be told what they are worth.”[14]

Unfortunately, much of society echoes this without a second thought down to the letter.

#7:  You Can’t Hide[15]

In school children are taught that there is no privacy, and you are under constant surveillance.  Personal independence and self sufficiency have no place in school.

“I teach students that they are always watched, that each is under constant surveillance by me and my colleagues.  There are no private spaces for children; there is no private time…Students are encouraged to tattle on each other or even to tattle on their parents.  Of course, I encourage parents to file reports about their child’s waywardness too.”[16] If that’s not a system that breeds a SpyCulture – the very one we’re seeing right now – I don’t know what is.

Moreover:

“The meaning of constant surveillance and denial of privacy is that no one can be trusted, that privacy is not legitimate.”[17]

Once pondered, the above statements reverberate deep into the psyche.  Such are the seeds from which much of the pervasive issues society is dealing with stem from.  The lack of respect for privacy, dependence on the government, materialism, empty concept of the future, lack of critical skills, the conformity crisis, class distinction, and more, all have the inception within the nascent stages of public schooling.

This coalescence of societal issues cannot change unless that which casts the foundation – public schooling – changes.  And Public Schooling has never shown any meaningful changes coming from the inside, which is why individuals need to learn to become self-directed learners and autodidacts in order to be better prepared for the world that we live in.

The world that we live in has much more to offer than what we are taught it does.  Even so, a limited understanding off an individual’s ability will only yield a limited point of view in life, like seeing life with perpetual tunnel vision.

Only by breaking away from that marginalized reality will the individual see life for what it is, and only by asserting your power will you be able to control your path.

Then and only then can true unbounded freedom and education be had.

___________________________________________________________
Footnotes:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Public Schooling, p. 1.
[2] Ibid., p. 2.
[3] Ibid., p. 4.
[4] Ibid., pp. 4-5.
[5] Ibid., p. 5.
[6] Ibid., p. 6.
[7] Ibid., p. 6.
[8] Ibid., p. 6.
[9] Ibid., p. 7.
[10] Ibid., p. 7.
[11] Ibid., p. 8.
[12] Ibid., p. 9.
[14] Ibid., pp. 9-10.
[15] ibid., p. 10.
[16] Ibid., p. 10.
[17] Ibid., p. 11.
___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

___________________________________________________________
Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:

7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschoolers, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
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
Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

Common Core Crisis [Part 5] – What Led To Award Winning Teacher John Taylor Gatto To Quit Public Schooling

breakaway3
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 3, 2017

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
– Aristotle

“Wherever a man desires to know, that is the place proper for his education; whenever he desires to know, that is the time proper for his instruction.”
– Socrates

The last few weeks we have begun to catalog many disturbing aspects of common core within public schooling.  Not only is American education on a catastrophic decline [see here], but as has been documented by insiders such as John Taylor Gatto, Charlotte Iserbyt, and others, that’s exactly what the system aims to do.

For those that might react in an askance manner to such statements, in previous posts [Example #1, Example #2, Example #3, Example #4] we have begun to slowly construct much of the downright nonsense individuals have to deal with within the corrupt public school system.

Continuing along the same lines, below follows a passage taken from award winning teacher John Taylor Gatto, which was shared by him in his phenomenal Underground History Of American Education.

Gatto states why he chose to resign from the corrupt system in 1991, and the troubling reasons follow below:

Gatto decided to throw in the towel in 1991, and the reasons for this follow below:

“In the first year of the last decade of the twentieth century during my thirtieth year as a school teacher in Community School District 3, Manhattan, after teaching in all five secondary schools in the district, crossing swords with one professional administration after another as they strove to rid themselves of me, after having my license suspended twice for insubordination and terminated covertly once while I was on medical leave of absence, after the City University of New York borrowed me for a five-year stint as a lecturer in the Education Department (and the faculty rating handbook published by the Student Council gave me the highest ratings in the department my last three years), after planning and bringing about the most successful permanent school fund-raiser in New York City history, after placing a single eighth-grade class into 30,000 hours of volunteer community service, after organizing and financing a student-run food cooperative, after securing over a thousand apprenticeships, directing the collection of tens of thousands of books for the construction of private student libraries, after producing four talking job dictionaries for the blind, writing two original student musicals, and launching an armada of other initiatives to reintegrate students within a larger human reality, I quit.

I was New York State Teacher of the Year when it happened. An accumulation of disgust and frustration which grew too heavy to be borne finally did me in. To test my resolve I sent a short essay to The Wall Street Journal titled “I Quit, I Think.” In it I explained my reasons for deciding to wrap it up, even though I had no savings and not the slightest idea what else I might do in my mid-fifties to pay the rent. In its entirety it read like this:

Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents. The whole blueprint of school procedure is Egyptian, not Greek or Roman. It grows from the theological idea that human value is a scarce thing, represented symbolically by the narrow peak of a pyramid.

That idea passed into American history through the Puritans. It found its “scientific” presentation in the bell curve, along which talent supposedly apportions itself by some Iron Law of Biology. It’s a religious notion, School is its church. I offer rituals to keep heresy at bay. I provide documentation to justify the heavenly pyramid.

Socrates foresaw if teaching became a formal profession, something like this would happen. Professional interest is served by making what is easy to do seem hard; by subordinating the laity to the priesthood. School is too vital a jobs-project, contract giver and protector of the social order to allow itself to be “re-formed.” It has political allies to guard its marches, that’s why reforms come and go without changing much. Even reformers can’t imagine school much different.

David learns to read at age four; Rachel, at age nine: In normal development, when both are 13, you can’t tell which one learned first—the five-year spread means nothing at all. But in school I label Rachel “learning disabled” and slow David down a bit, too. For a paycheck, I adjust David to depend on me to tell him when to go and stop. He won’t outgrow that dependency. I identify Rachel as discount merchandise, “special education” fodder. She’ll be locked in her place forever.

In 30 years of teaching kids rich and poor I almost never met a learning disabled child; hardly ever met a gifted and talented one either. Like all school categories, these are sacred myths, created by human imagination. They derive from questionable values we never examine because they preserve the temple of schooling.

That’s the secret behind short-answer tests, bells, uniform time blocks, age grading, standardization, and all the rest of the school religion punishing our nation. There isn’t a right way to become educated; there are as many ways as fingerprints. We don’t need state-certified teachers to make education happen—that probably guarantees it won’t.

How much more evidence is necessary? Good schools don’t need more money or a longer year; they need real free-market choices, variety that speaks to every need and runs risks. We don’t need a national curriculum or national testing either. Both initiatives arise from ignorance of how people learn or deliberate indifference to it. I can’t teach this way any longer. If you hear of a job where I don’t have to hurt kids to make a living, let me know. Come fall I’ll be looking for work.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Coming to terms with all of the above, can you really blame Gatto?  And to think, this took place over two decades ago.  The public schooling system has only gotten worse.

Those facts lead Gatto to speak over 750 times throughout the world in the following years to discuss the inherent issues within public schooling.  And he hasn’t stopped, thankfully.

Gatto found that individuals from all over the world were beginning to see the shadows of the system for what it was, and are were beginning to speak out, and rightly so.

The only way to avoid the conformity crisis is to breakaway from the system that makes you conform from the ground up.  Gatto and many others have spoken about this at length.

Seek to learn and teach children [and adults!] not only how to think critically [which school doesn’t teach], but how to employ logic [which modern schooling also doesn’t teach, although was taught for centuries in classical education].  Don’t allow others to make you, nor your children conform.  Strive to live life to the fullest extent, learning from moments – every single one of them, especially the bad ones – rather than by disciplines, or worse, methods. 

Life has everything you need to learn.  It only takes open eyes and an open mind to take it all in and use every day as a teaching platform as every opportunity is ruminated upon, pondered, learned from, and digested at length.

Anyone can teach another person something, and it happens on a day by day basis.

It’s just that we don’t get hammered to see those experiences as teaching.  The curious part is that, life lessons happen ALL the time, and it doesn’t take a public school system to teach that.  Not that schools teach that anyways.

Learn from every moment.

Learn from every person.

Learn from yourself.

And teach others what you have learned.

Then and only then are we going to begin creating a new system, from the ground up.

And all it takes is individuals rising up, as they have throughout history.

Don’t hold back.  Education is too important to forgo, or to leave to others.

Change starts with you.  Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.  For if we don’t take time to teach ourselves about the lessons of life, we will arrive at life’s end having learned nothing.

_________________________________________________________
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:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors
_________________________________________________________
Source:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Underground History Of American Education, pp. xv-xvi.

Students are wising up to mandated standardized tests: They ultimately mean nothing to them

Turkish exams must be saved, says Joan Ryan - Joan Ryan for Enfield ...
Source: TheCollegeFix.com
Dave Huber
September 4, 2016

Perry Stein’s article in The Washington Post on Friday covers a topic I had been wondering about for several years: When will students begin to openly voice their displeasure at the quantity of standardized testing they’re being subjected to … by simply ignoring the tests?

When standardized test scores at Washington DC’s high-achieving Wilson High School had dropped off noticeably, one student had a very good explanation for the dip: Since the assessment known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) doesn’t affect students themselves, the teens either “refused to take the test or intentionally flubbed it.”

They’d rather concentrate on tests that do affect them — like Advanced Placement exams.

“Chemistry was such a difficult subject for me, and the AP exam is very strenuous,” [Wilson senior Emma] Buzbee said. “Me and a lot of people in my class decided not to take the exam and go to the review instead. There was never any explicit reason we were given about why we were supposed to take the [PARCC] exam.”

Indeed, PARCC, like assessments around the country, are used to measure school performance as a whole, and in some cases to also evaluate teaching performance. It’s federal law that schools must test students every year in grades 3 through 8, and then once in high school. Ninety-five percent of students must take the tests for schools not to be penalized.

Keep in mind, too, that we’re not talking about just one test. Students often must take multiple assessments several times a year in order to gauge their progress. Gone are the days when kids took one such exam per year which gave them (and their parents) a snapshot of how they were doing compared to their peers across the country.

And this is precisely why testing “opt-out” movements have been springing up all over the country: The sheer quantity of testing simply has gotten ridiculous.

MORE: Lawsuit: Florida counties punish testing ‘opt outs’ by not promoting them

Where I used to teach, not only do students have to test throughout the school year in English and mathematics, they also have to endure a “pre-test” at the beginning of the school year, and a “post-test” at the end of the year in each of their other subjects.

These “pre-” and “post-” tests are relevant only for teachers’ yearly evaluations. Imagine the creative allurement educators must come up with to motivate their charges just to take these tests. Other than “Please do you best … as my job may depend on it,” that is.

Again, consider: These students test at least twice per year in English and math, and again twice per year for their other subjects. This is the bare minimum. Other assessments may pop up from time to time, either prototypes of some potential new assessment, or as a questionnaire/survey type of deal administered by an outside interest group.

Need I mention that these kids still have to take their usual teacher-administered tests and quizzes, including mid-terms and finals, for all of their classes throughout the year?

Now, go back and put yourself in the shoes of someone like Wilson High’s Emma Buzbee from the WaPo story.

The parents of another Wilson student said regarding that school’s PARCC test that “[Our son] wasn’t thinking, ‘It’s going to be a win for Wilson if I win on this test.’”

A Wilson senior said her parents got her out of taking the PARCC just so she wouldn’t miss two Advanced Placement English classes:

“I do feel guilty that we didn’t take it because it seems that we could have taken it and it would have helped the school,” she said. “But I do blame the school for doing a really bad job on organizing it. It was really confusing, people felt forced into it, and it just didn’t feel valuable to a lot of students and wasn’t worth their times.”

Expect to see many more tales like these in the months to come.

Read More At: TheCollegeFix.com