A Teacher’s Essay on the Public Education System

A few weeks ago an essay by John Taylor Gatto showed up on the del.icio.us popular page that reinforced my opinion of traditional education. With the authority of an award winning teacher, Mr. Gatto, explains the state of education in the form of seven lessons he taught students throughout his career.

1. Confusion – Mr. Gatto’s first point is that children are taught a mass of disconnected facts. He states, “The logic of the school-mind is that it is better to leave school with a tool kit of superficial jargon…than to leave with one genuine enthusiasm.�?

The memorization of facts only to repeat them on a test is dull and pointless. That is what school is for most kids. For the rest it is about getting good grades. Purpose of education (understanding and development) is ignored.

2. Class Position – “Everyone has a proper place in the pyramid…there is no way out of your class…you must stay where you are put.�?

This is definitely one of the lessons I took away from high school. As a student in high level classes I felt resentment from lower level students and was encouraged by teachers to consider them less intelligent. The division caused students to behave according to their level. The high level students become pretentious and the low level students misbehaved.

3. Indifference – “When the bell rings I insist that they stop whatever it is that we’ve been working on and proceed quickly to the next work station…They must turn on and off like a light switch.

In what purposeful system do people invest themselves for a short period, then drop everything because of an arbitrary bell and start doing something totally different. This makes no sense at all and it teaches children not to care about what they learning.

4. Emotional Dependency – “By stars and red checks, smiles and frowns, prizes, honors and disgraces I teach kids to surrender their will to the predestined chain of command.�?

Students are taught that their happiness is controlled by the teacher. Obey him, follow the crowd and you are rewarded, act independently and you are punished. This destroys individuality and prepares people for a life time of passive indifference

5. Intellectual Dependency – “Good people wait for a teacher to tell them what to do. It is the most important lesson, that we must wait for other people, better trained than ourselves, to make the meanings of our lives.�?

This point gets me fired up. We are trained to believe our own thoughts are stupid. We must rely on “experts�? to show us the way. This puts us under the power of the “experts�? and preempts the development of ability. We are always surprised what we can do for ourselves.

6. 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.�?

This lesson falls in line with four and five to form the triumvirate of “expert�? dependence: emotional, intellectual, and self-esteem. This dependence extends past childhood into adult life. How greatly does your boss’s opinion effect your emotions? He/she praises and we feel great, he/she scolds and we are scared and upset. From childhood we are conditioned to submit to authority.

7. One Can’t Hide – “I teach children they are always watched, that each is under constant surveillance by myself and my colleagues.�?

Our superiors are always watching. I know this is true for me. We must stay always on our best behavior or we will be punished. Being constantly on edge creates passive individuals that lack the spontaneity and confidence to innovate.

The second part of the essay claims that education wasn’t always this way. It draws on American history, stating that regimental schooling began just after the Civil War when the central government assumed total control. “We were something special,�? Gatto says, “we Americans, all by ourselves, without government sticking its nose into our lives, without institutions and social agencies telling us how to think and feel.�?

In the third section Gatto says, “We have a real national crisis, the nature of which is very different from that proclaimed by the national media. Young people are indifferent to the adult world and to the future, indifferent to almost everything except the diversion of toys and violence.�? Do you see the truth of this statement? I am twenty-two years old. Among the people in my peer group, nearly all spend their free time in passive entertainment. Our conversations revolve around entertainment or consumer goods. There is a lack of free thought or intellectual curiosity. Many strong independent spirits are mired in vice and indifference.

When I first read this essay I imagined a great conspiracy to enslave the individual. After reflection I have come to a different conclusion: the majority of people like being told what to do. It makes them feel safe. It takes the pressure off them. As G. B. Shaw said, “Ninety-five percent of the population would rather die than think.�? So what does all this mean? Is American society destined to evolve into the dystopia of Huxley’s Brave New World? I don’t think so. There will always be brilliant irrepressible people. It is essential to make these individuals aware that there is an alternative to the mainstream system.

Gatto brings to light a possible solution: “Some form of free-market system in public schooling is the likeliest place to look for answers, a free market where family schools and small entrepreneurial schools and religious schools and crafts schools and farm schools exist in profusion to compete with government education. I’m trying to describe a free market in schooling just exactly like the one the country had until the Civil War, one in which students volunteer for the kind of education that suits them, even if that means self-education.�?

The institution of education appears unassailable, but the fact that this essay was written and that it was selected for the del.icio.us popular page means that people are aware. Recognition is the first step to improvement. Do your part as a conscientious citizen and discuss it. What do you think about the public education system?

John Taylor Gatto’s books:

The Exhausted School: Bending the Bars of Traditional Education

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

59 Responses to A Teacher’s Essay on the Public Education System

  1. Mario says:

    It’s not just an ultimate test but also wall that you need to get through. Making a dissertation paper is not easy. How much more if you don’t have enough time and budget. That was my problem before but when I discovered https://lunwenzhushou.net/paper-dai-xie I was saved because I was able to have my dissertation papers in high quality and in low prices and it was delivered to me on time.

  2. Nash says:

    You should motivate students to study. Teacher should be proactive like a writers from https://besteducationprograms.org. This is a key to success!

  3. Stephenpep says:

    viagra from india buy viagra online viagra cheap

  4. JamesHib says:

    how much is viagra viagra for men online online doctor prescription for viagra

  5. KevinUsaby says:

    when is the best time to take cialis generic cialis side effects of cialis

  6. herry smith says:

    Such a nice essay on the teacher. As we all know that a professional teacher always loves to teach his students as much as he can. But in return, he deserves a lot but unfortunately, we could not return him so well. the education he gives us and the knowledge is always like a diamond for his.

  7. DanielNug says:

    viagra generic buy cheap viagra how much is viagra

  8. Wallyblula says:

    ed pharmacy buy prescription drugs from india erection pills

  9. Wallyblula says:

    natural cure for ed how to cure ed ed symptoms

  10. Stevendub says:

    viagra cialis buy viagra online buy viagra online cheap

  11. Stevendub says:

    cheap viagra 100mg buy viagra generic buy generic viagra

  12. Stevendub says:

    cheap generic viagra buy generic drugs generic viagra walmart

  13. Stevendub says:

    best place to buy generic viagra online buy viagra viagra from canada

  14. Brad says:

    I have never been able to write texts and articles. So I turned to the essay writing help. I think there is nothing wrong with that. I saved time and effort in writing something that I could never have done. It’s good that there are services that help students.

  15. Danielzef says:

    cheap medications Cheap Erection Pills online canadian pharmacy

  16. Danielzef says:

    ed devices generic ed pills ed medications online

  17. Danielzef says:

    can ed be cured generic ed pills ed online pharmacy

  18. Danielzef says:

    amoxicillin without a doctor’s prescription ED Pills drugs online

  19. Greg Myles says:

    You know, I’ve never been able to write texts and articles. So I turned to the essay writing help https://www.bestessay.com/essay-writing-help/. I think there is nothing wrong with that. I saved time and effort in writing something that I could never have done. It’s good that there are services that help students.

  20. Danielzef says:

    ed remedies generic cialis erection pills that work

  21. NathanHoake says:

    high blood pressure and cialis how much does cialis cost at walmart cialis samples request

  22. NathanHoake says:

    does cialis lower your blood pressure generic cialis cialis 100 mg lowest price

  23. WilliamRox says:

    ed pills online pharmacy best ed pills ed products

  24. WilliamRox says:

    ed treatments that really work best canadian online pharmacy viagra without a doctor prescription

  25. Roberttop says:

    canadian pharmacy buy generic drugs online from india

  26. Roberttop says:

    tadalafil online buy tadalafil

  27. Roberttop says:

    buy generic drugs from india compare pharmacy prices for prescriptions

  28. CaseyWenep says:

    best medicine for ed https://sildenafilxxl.com/ how to get viagra without a doctor

  29. Janet Locane says:

    Thanks for the useful information. Unfortunately, no rules helped me when writing my dissertation. Therefore, I turned to experts for help https://www.rush-my-essay.com/write-my-essay/. Thanks to them, my work was done efficiently and in a short time. I realized one thing – I definitely have no talent for writing.

  30. Rodneyalone says:

    what is the best ed pill cheap Amoxil ed medicines

  31. Jane17Locane says:

    Thanks for the useful information. Unfortunately, no rules helped me when writing my dissertation. Therefore, I turned to experts for help https://www.rush-my-essay.com/write-my-essay/. Thanks to them, my work was done efficiently and in a short time. I realized one thing – I definitely have no talent for writing.

  32. Rodneyalone says:

    cialis 30 day trial voucher cialis generic cialis professional

  33. Rodneyalone says:

    show cialis working generic cialis cialis dosage 40 mg dangerous

  34. Rodneyalone says:

    buy prescription drugs from canada cheap generic drugs from india buy anti biotics without prescription

  35. Rodneyalone says:

    errection problem cure best online canadian pharmacy herbal ed remedies

  36. Rodneyalone says:

    buy online pharmacy best online canadian pharmacy vitality ed pills

  37. EdwardLip says:

    google viagra dosage recommendations: prices of viagra at walmart ed medications list

  38. EdwardLip says:

    cheap ed drugs: ed drug prices ed meds online without prescription or membership

  39. Richardscove says:

    cialis for daily use cheapest cialis taking l-citrulline and cialis together

  40. Richardscove says:

    canada cialis tiujana cialis daily use cialis cost

  41. Richardscove says:

    cheap zithromax pills zithromax 500 mg lowest price drugstore online how to get zithromax over the counter

  42. Richardscove says:

    zithromax capsules 250mg buy zithromax no prescription zithromax 500 price

  43. Richardscove says:

    zithromax pill zithromax for sale online buy zithromax online with mastercard

  44. Richardscove says:

    normal dose cialis free cialis medication for providers buy cialis

  45. daniyal abbas says:

    Extracting pages from pdfs have never been more easier for me to do. This all was courtesy ofhttps://altorotatepdf.com/about-usabout-us. Make a move on this to see what I’m talking about.

  46. daniyal abbas says:

    I was able to streamline my work process with the help of the following website https://mobilemondaymelb.com/streamline-your-work-process-using-electronic-signatures/streamline-your-work-process-using-electronic-signatures/. I did not know that using electronic signature has become so much easier and effective.

  47. ◆ご注文を待ちしております
    ◆ご安心購入くださいませ。
    国際速達郵便発送、最低価格保証!!送料無料(日本全国)
    ラブドール:https://yourdoll.jp ラブドール 女性 用 https://yourdoll.jp/product-category/male-newhalf-shemale-real-love-doll/

  48. 스모크밤100 says:

    The best e-cigarette liquid site in Korea. Korea’s lowest-priced 전자담배 액상 사이트 e-cigarette liquid.
    스모크밤100 스모크밤

  49. 스모크밤342 says:

    전자담배 액상 사이트 The best e-cigarette liquid site in Korea. smok25 Korea’s lowest-priced e-cigarette liquid. 스모크밤342 스모크밤

  50. whfh22 says:

    해외선물 해외선물 무사고업체

  51. eoduwjsans says:

    해외선물해외선물 업체 대여업체 대여계좌

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.