Angela Wade's Reviews > Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
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's review
Aug 03, 2010

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bookshelves: homeschooling, parenting
Read from August 01 to 03, 2010

This book was an incredibly enlightening read, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who is on the fence about homeschooling or who believes that public school should be the ideal route to education.

That said, I cannot in good conscience give this book five stars, because the last essay, "The Congregational Principle", was an absolutely ridiculous piece of writing. It includes too many wonky ideas to list, but the one that pissed me off the most was:

"The predicament of women is a little trickier to see, but if sharply accelerated rates of suicide, heart disease, emotional illness, sterility, and other pathological conditions is an indicator, the admission of women en masse to the unisex workplace is not an unmixed blessing.

"...and an unseen social cost has been the destruction of family life, the loss of home as sanctuary or haven, and the bewilderment of children raised by strangers since infancy."

Seriously? Is the author kidding or what? At the point I read the above I nearly threw the book across the room. It was like all the clear, rational ideas of the first essays and speeches gave way to some kind of LSD-inspired rant.

If the last section was cut of out this book, it would be worth five stars, but if the last section is really how the author views the world I won't be reading any more of his material, homeschooling champion or not.

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