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

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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.

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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.
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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.

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

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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.

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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
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Source:

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

Book Review: Summerhill School – A New View Of Childhood by A.S. Neil

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TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 3, 2017

Having read three books by John Taylor Gatto’s, who has spoken out at length about the inherent issues within public schooling, while also having met some people through discussing these books, someone was kind enough to recommend this particular book.  To say the least, this book is outside of the box as outside of the box can be.

Summerhill School – A New View Of Childhood by A.S. Neil is a book that details the venture of those who took part in the school known as Summerhill, which sought to achieve a new standard of learning and growth.

A.S. Neil was the person mainly responsible for this audacious undertaking, and his actions echo still to this day.

What Neil sought to do was create a place where the idea/value of Freedom is wholly respected, through and through.  For this, this new school required a different way of thinking – a whole new mindset.  This venture required the removal of preconceived notions of childhood schooling, coupled with the open-mindedness that to achieve true education in the school system the child must govern entirely free to govern themselves.  This means that the child would be active in most of what the child chooses for their own development, which may include various aspects learning or playing.

Neil’s individually democratic style education is quite evocative, because when carried out correctly [as myriad examples show in his book] it shows that children can self-govern themselves, and also do so quite well.  This takes place also with little to no interference from the adults, except in some very unique circumstances.  For the most part though, children were left to their own devices, to choose what type of learning they would undertake.

To gauge what Neil strove to achieve, let’s take a gander at his own words:

“The goal was to use childhood and adolescence to create emotional wholeness and personal strength.  Neil thought that once this wholeness had been achieved children would be self-motivated to learn what they needed academically.  The key to this growth was to give children freedom to play for as long as they felt the need in an atmosphere of approval and love.   The children were given freedom but not license; they could do as they pleased as long as it didn’t bother anyone else.”[1]

Therein lies the beauty, for the child who ends up not playing, ends up not using one of the most important parts of life for learning and growth.  Furthermore, the children that have unfinished childhoods so to speak, later in life seek to do things that could have already taken place, and which end up slowing down the progress of growth as an adult.  That’s what Neil seemed to notice anyhow.

Within the book there is a wide array of topics discussed.  Everything from social structure, emotional problems, particularly with children who are a bit older, meetings, self-government, what are called ‘problem children’, play and self-regulation and much more is discussed at length.

Perhaps, the best way to understand what Summerhill is truly about comes from the following piece:

“You don’t have Summerhill in order that children should study or learn to become “ists” of any kind.  You let them function in their own play-work fashion, and you postulate no purpose for them at all.”[2]

The genius of the idea is that because their core individual foundation in childhood was so enjoyable and emotionally robust children end up learning vastly quicker when they choose to follow their path than students that follow the public school system.  However, is that growth is not allowed when children are forced through compulsory schooling [Read: Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto] which crushes their individuality and imagination.  Those very circumstances turn children in robots, only capable of following orders and never taught to critically think.  Only memorization of facts becomes important, and not arriving at the facts.

For that reason, many of the topics of the book do delve into the idea of playing.  Neil does make it a point about focusing on the benefits of playing quite a bit.  What the author states constitutes play is:

“…not thinking in terms of athletic fields and organized games; I am thinking of play in terms of fantasy.  Organized games involve skill, competition, teamwork; but children’s play usually requires no skill, little competition, and hardly any teamwork.”[3]

In other words, true play, like a whetstone, hones the development of imagination.  And imagination is integral, because a child whose imagination hasn’t developed has had his childhood stultified, as well as their imagination, and will be a conformist child, and thus, a conformist adult at the drop of a hat.  Disturbingly, this is exactly what we see in society more and more with time.

The book is split up into two parts. Firstly, the book covers all facets regarding Summerhill, which are covered at length from a variety of angles, citing dozens and dozens of examples of how children responded to particular scenarios and whatnot. Everything from classes, theater, music, sex, teachers, and much more is discussed here.  The second part of the book covers many aspects of Neils life, as he takes us through the journey of what brought him to taking part in Summerhill.

All this considered, the book is a really great read.  Admittedly, the first half appealed to me a lot more than the second part, but that’s because the interest for me was in the process for the individual and not so much in how the author came to be part of it.  Regardless, the book really is something worth pondering for anybody that thinks the one-size-fits-all public schooling and compulsory conformity system that western education has become is good, really needs to take a look at the conformity crisis that’s taking place.  That, however, is a whole different can of worms.  One that John Taylor Gatto discusses at length in all of his books.

If you have read any of John Taylor Gatto’s book, then you will know how indoctrination and conformity are the aim of public schooling, and there’s many documents showing this.  Because of that, and more, an honest view into a different paradigm such as this one brought about by Neil is needed.  Summerhill has shown that education and personal growth can actually be enjoyable for once.

Summerhill has already broken new ground for a new paradigm.  Now it’s up to individuals to ruminate upon how to learn from it and see where it may take them.

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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
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Sources:

[1] A.S. Neil, Summerhill School – A New View Of Childhood, p. xviii
[2] Ibid., p. 217.
[3] Ibid., p. 32.
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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.

300 Word Memories #1 – Growth

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TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 24, 2017

Earlier today it became known to me, through the expertise of John Taylor Gatto that decades ago Harvard used to require students in the liberal arts department to write 300 word passages in order to hone their writing skills.  The effect of this was phenomenal, and was noted years after this particular generation of graduates made their way into the workforce.

Gatto noted that those individual students who were exposed to such an idea and who were urged to execute it correctly found growth as writers that nobody could have even fathomed.

In small part, this idea can be corroborated by me, to a certain extent, through my work in reviewing books.

Nigh three years ago my skillset in writing reviews was average at best.  Although this fact was known to me, it didn’t deter me to attempt to grow as a writer/reviewer at the time.  Naturally, the only option that seemed reasonable at the time was to write more, and do more reviews.  At the time, admittedly, it seemed rather simplistic.  However, we all know how much we learned by doing, so it didn’t seem like it was such a bad idea.

Now, a handful of years later, it’s been quite the journey in being able to grow as a writer/blogger in many ways and be able to relate my ideas in a much more incisive and cogent fashion.  Realizing this a few months ago, it was rather inspiring because, having seen a few of my older reviews, it became quite apparent that not only my suspicion of my work being ‘so-so’ of the past correct, but my suspicion of growth through using the mirror of time – the past – also helped me glean some satisfaction in the fact that the hard work was paying off, even if at times it seems rather sluggish.

Having gone through this mental growth-spurt of sorts, am appreciative of having this obstacle be in my path, and in choosing to make it an opportunity for a jump off point, because it’s helped me grow in more ways than would have seemed possible in the past.

In any case, may the next obstacle opportunity on my path be sizeable, because the growth experienced from immense obstacles opportunities is much greater than that experience gained from smaller ones.

May you always be ironclad in your passions, and relentless in your resolve.

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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.

Common Core Crisis [Part 4]

educationsystem
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 20, 2017

“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.”[John Taylor Gatto, quoting John D. Rockefeller Sr., Occasional Letter Number One, General Education Board 1906, In Weapons Of Mass Destruction, p. 8]

John Taylor Gatto has been doing yeomen’s work in the field of education for quite some time, and with good reason.  Gatto has fiercely spoken out at length countless times about the systematic issues that are inherent within the bowels of the corrupt public schooling system.

The passage that follows is from his incisive book, Weapons Of Mass Instruction, which details one of these very disturbing and growing issues.

In his words:

“I remember the shock I felt the first time I discovered, quite by accident, that I could personally negotiate larger discounts on book purchases (or anything else) than the school district could.  It didn’t seem to make sense.  The most personally troubling occasion was the moment I decided to use my own funds to purchase classroom sets of good books for student use rather than rely on the “approved” list of books for which school funds could’ve used, and which required many months, if not a full year, to pass through the acquisition protocols to be shipped.  Traveling to a book wholesaler, open to anybody, to secure its standard 40% discount, as I stood at the cash register with a hundred copies of Moby Dick and a hundred copies of Shakespeare’s Plays in shopping carts, the checkout clerk asked me, “Are you a school teacher?”  Without thinking I nodded affirmatively, after which she rang the books up at 25% discount.

“You’ve made a mistake,” I told her.  “The discount is 40%.”

Not for schoolteachers,” she replied curtly.  And when I bellowed in angry protest, she became indignant.  “Look,” she said, “that’s the discount your Board of Education negotiated.  If you don’t like it, take it up with them.”

Now why on Earth would my employer sell out my rights to a standard discount?  Can you think of any reason that isn’t crooked?  And, of course, it wasn’t only my right to full discount the school authorities had stolen, but every teacher’s right in New York City.  Perhaps, this will help you understand why I tilted this chapter “Everything You Know About Schools Is Wrong.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Not only is modern public schooling about indoctrination, conformity and downright nonsense [as we can see in previous example #1, example #2, example #3] but as seen above, it’s also about lining the pockets of Big Business with money.  After all, why else would you not allow school personnel the right to purchase products at discount, and force those people to forgo their rights?  That doesn’t even begin to cover all the other moral implications.

There is so much wrong with this, that much more can be said.  We will digress for now, however, as more examples will follow in the upcoming days.

For additional reading about this disturbing trend please research the following books reviewed below from teachers that are either still working within the public schooling system, or worked within the public school system at one time:

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

The following books are crucial tools for individuals who wish to become autodidacts & self-directed learners, homeschoolers and anyone else interested in learning valuable skills not mandatory in public schooling:

Book Review: Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Book Review: How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammer & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.

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[1] John Taylor Gatto, Weapons Of Mass Instruction, pp. 20-21.

Book Review: Weapons Of Mass Instruction By John Taylor Gatto

weaponsofmassinstruction
TheBreakway
Zy Marquiez
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 [1991], 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.”[1][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.”[2]

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.

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Sources & References

[1] 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
[2] John Taylor Gatto, quoting The Philosophy Of Education, 1908, Weapons Of Mass Instruction, p. 13

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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