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Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling | [John Taylor Gatto]

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

Thirty years in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine. With over 100,000 copies in print since its original publication in 2002, this book is collection of essays and speeches and includes a describes the wide-spread impact of the book and Gatto's "guerrilla teaching". John Gatto was a teacher in New York City's public schools for over 30 years and was a New York State Teacher of the Year.
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Publisher's Summary

Thirty years in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine. With over 100,000 copies in print since its original publication in 2002, this book is collection of essays and speeches and contains a description of the wide-spread impact of the book and Gatto's "guerrilla teaching".

About the author: John Gatto was a teacher in New York City's public schools for over 30 years and is a recipient of the New York State Teacher of the Year award. A much sought after speaker on education throughout North America, his other books include Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling, A Different Kind of Teacher, and The Underground History of American Education.

©2002 John Taylor Gatto (P)2012 Post Hypnotic Press, Inc

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  •  
    Niall 06-25-12
    Niall 06-25-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Required reading to see why kids hate school"
    What made the experience of listening to Dumbing Us Down the most enjoyable?

    This book is a collection of essays that were written by a highly decorated teacher discussing the ways he was ashamed to a pert of the American schooling process- I keep remembering him talking about how he would grant permission for a child to use the bathroom knowing they did not have to go- that they just wanted water to move around but he would consider this a kind of favor to be repaid, He mostly talks about how the current system kills the natural curiosity of children and ensures that they will despise learning and intellectual topics. For those wondering the only semi solution given is home school and there really is not a lot of advice in there for people who want to start homeschooling


    What other book might you compare Dumbing Us Down to and why?

    There are some good movies that follow this theme-- The War on Kids, The Cartel -and- Waiting for Superman.


    If you could give Dumbing Us Down a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The broken format of your kids' school


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorbear 05-06-15
    Lorbear 05-06-15 Member Since 2015

    ltummonds

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    "Engaging Book and Philosophy"

    This is a very powerful treatise on the state of the American school system. It met my expectations based on the title. The author gives many convincing examples to support the "Dumbing Us Down". I thought back many times to my education and wished I could have a "do over". If you are considering homeschooling your child, this book will give you the push you need.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy D. Schouten Montreal, Qc, Canada 04-28-15
    Cathy D. Schouten Montreal, Qc, Canada 04-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "He speaks the truth because he was a cog"

    what we all thought about our school-experience but were afraid to say outloud. Tremendously moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jake 04-03-15
    Jake 04-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A valuable perspective"

    My professor suggested I read this as my interest in the flaws of education and the disconnect from the "real world" were so great that they brought me to question it. I don't agree with everything the others states but the core ideas and the over arching truth that this current system is not the way was clearly presented and better defined than any other resource I have found. Read it and see!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magnus 04-01-15
    Magnus 04-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Illuminating"

    Loved it finish the book in two days could not put it down one of the most illuminating pieces of literature on education I have ever read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hugh 03-08-15
    Hugh 03-08-15

    Hugh

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    "Earth Shattering Truths Well Told"

    Read this book and understand why modern public education does not work and can not be reformed. Written by an award winning public school teacher who offers real ideas for an alternative approach to how we raise children in the 21st Century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion 02-17-15
    Marion 02-17-15
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    "Thought provoking"

    But full solution still not clear. Free market is an easy concept to fall back unto, but, isn't this a main feature of our - as argued in this book - ailing society?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N.Schmidt Florida 01-27-15
    N.Schmidt Florida 01-27-15 Member Since 2011

    N.Schmidt

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    "If you homeschool, start here"

    I consider this book a must for anyone who homeschools. It will articulate exactly why most of is made the choice to homeschool. Truly excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Lindon, UT, United States 01-29-14
    Kindle Customer Lindon, UT, United States 01-29-14 Member Since 2014

    Audible fan!...Why didn't I discover audiobooks sooner? I would rather listen than watch.

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    "Do you want to pull your kids out yet?"

    Homeschoolers love this book. Why? It points out (and exaggerates and makes blanket stereotypical statements about) all the ills of public education. Public school education has its problems and in an ideal world we could all be tutored one-on-one by George Wyeth as Thomas Jefferson was. (google TJeD) Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. There are so many issues brought up by this book it would take a hundred volumes of the same size to discuss them all. What came first - the chicken or the egg? the breakdown of education or the breakdown of the family? This is a good listen. It will make you think...unless you can't because you grew up in a public school as I did. (sarcasm)

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    natalie Spain 01-05-14
    natalie Spain 01-05-14
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    "Very interesting"
    If you could sum up Dumbing Us Down in three words, what would they be?

    Really blimin' interesting :)


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Very thought provoking and also alarming.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    If you have children, listen to this audio.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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