These 13 essays, presented at the 1993 National Grassroots Speakout on the Right to School Choice, illustrate how education reform actually works. Written by award-winning teachers and their students, these essays present successful teaching methods that work in both traditional and nontraditional classroom settings. Gattos voice is strong and unique. Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
John Taylor Gatto is an American retired school teacher of 29 years and 8 months and author of several books on education. He is an activist critical of compulsory schooling and of what he characterizes as the hegemonic nature of discourse on education and the education professions.
If you've never read anything by John Taylor Gatto I wouldn't start with this one. Even though it's short I think it would be confusing. The book is a compilation of the talks (even a lead up to the talks) given at a Carnegie Hall event telling people about alternative schooling. If you're looking for alternatives to the public school, it is worth reading. If you like John Gatto, it's worth reading. If neither of those are the case, I'd skip it. However, the last chapter was a fascinating look at how Plato's Republic has negatively influenced our country. So if that pique's your interest it may still be worth it. (Although the chapter seemed written in a hurry and is confusing at first.)
The book was an excellent read filled with the many options and possibilities of educating our children. Some models mentioned were democratic schools, Waldorf schools, farm schools, home school, self-directed learning, etc. The best part is the last chapter called "The Curriculum of School Reform" which talks about the purpose and start of schooling in America.
Inspiring material for educators. Many great ideas are presented here from different people offering alternatives to traditional school models. The subtitle better captures what this book is about than the title: "Bending the bars of Traditional Education". I like that. Education should set us free, and the place of learning should not look or feel like prison. Let's bend the bars!
The exhausted school – an amazing event put together by Gatto and some other key speakers in Carnegie hall in 1990 – the discussions of the speakers put into essay form for the book that describes the speakers, their work, the planning of the event, alternatives in school, and how the event was severely downplayed by the school system, media, and other power sources. Good book – easy read.
This is mostly interesting as a chronicle of the event it grew out of. The final (and longest) essay, by Gatto himself, seems to take some odd ideas for granted, like that our country has a terrible crisis of "stranger adoption" (a term I assume he uses in order to contrast this phenomenon with adoption by family members or, possibly, family friends).
This book is a collection of several speeches given at Carnegie Hall in the early 90s. It's a call for alternative education philosophies to be made available to the general public with public funding intact(homeschool, free school, waldorf, for instance).