It has sold over , copies  and consists of a multitude of speeches given by the author. The book proposes that radical change is needed to the American educational system to turn around the negative socialization that children receive. Main thesis[ edit ] Gatto asserts the following regarding what school does to children in Dumbing Us Down: It confuses the students. It presents an incoherent ensemble of information that the child needs to memorize to stay in school. Apart from the tests and trials, this programming is similar to the television; it fills almost all the "free" time of children. One sees and hears something, only to forget it again.
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So 3 times 4 can equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer. For the most part, the Common Core steers away from giving students a concrete picture of the world. And bucking the tumultuous trend of the declining education in America is exactly what Gatto sought to accomplish in his first book. Dumbing Us Down — The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling was published in , and is a masterly opening salvo and in-depth overview into how public schooling really works.
Gatto reinforces his main premise with a thorough examination of public schooling in America using source material he found throughout his research. Moreover, Gatto carries this out incisively with a no holds barred approach to the matter, and this is very refreshing.
No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the 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. Another notable components of this ongoing public schooling issue is how vital the community is, and more importantly, the family unit, in helping foster a healthier, more independent, more curious, and ultimately more self-sufficient individuals through proper education.
Continuously throughout the length of the book, Gatto fiercely touches upon the many different factors that have helped cause this growing dilemma.
In this piece, Gatto shows what teachers are truly expected to inculcate into students. For example, one of the 7 Lessons Gatto states teachers teach is Class Position. Under this efficient discipline the class mostly polices itself into good marching order. You come to know your place. Italics Emphasis In Original] Is it any wonder why society operates in the way it does, mirroring the very ideas that Gatto mentions?
Official favor, grades, and other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom. Please keep in mind, schooling and education are not the same thing.
This differentiation, and what each set of terms mean are one of the main gems of this book. Dumbing Us Down is a veritable fountain of information that is intense in precision and thought-provoking in its implications.
These very implications filter into all aspects of our lives, and ultimately echo into the future and as such should be taken very seriously. Only through self-directed learning carried out at the grass roots level by individuals is the world going to change.
If the world is to have a positive future of of critically thinking, inspired, creative, educated and inventive individuals, it starts now, in the present. It starts with you.
Dumbing Us Down Quotes
Book Review: Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto