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

Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
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Jun 16, 2009

really liked it
Read in June, 2009

"...the idea I began to explore was this one: that teaching is nothing like the art of painting, where, by the addition of material to a surface, an image is synthetically produced, but more like the art of sculpture, where, by the subtraction of material, an image already locked in the stone is enabled to emerge."

"People have to be allowed to make their own mistakes and try again, or they will never master themselves, although they may well seem to be competent when they have in fact only memorized or imitated someone else's performance."

On Intellectual Dependency...

"Curiosity has no important place in my work, only conformity. Bad kids fight this, of course, even though they lack the concepts to know what they are fighting, struggling to make decisions for themselves about what they will learn and when they will learn it. How can we allow that and survive as schoolteachers?"

On Provisional Self Esteem...

"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."

"Global economics does not speak to the public need for meaningful work, affordable housing, fulfilling education, adequate medical care, a clean environment, honest and accountable government, social and cultural renewal, or simple justice. All global ambitions are based on a definition of productivity and the good life so alienated from common human reality that I am convinced it is wrong and that most people would agree with me if they could conceive an alternative."

"Children and old people are locked away from the business of the world to a degree without precedent; nobody talks to them anymore, and without children and old people mixing in daily life; a community has no future and no past, only a continuous present."
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06/15/2009 page 23
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