Dumbing Us Down
John Gatto's Universal Lessons
“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your roadmap through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.” –John Gatto
- Students give up their rights and individuality to authority.
- In school, children are told what to learn and when to learn it.
- Teachers do this by giving them red checks, starts, smiles/frowns, prizes and honors.
- Students try to get just a little free time by asking to go to the bathroom or to go get a drink.
- This teaches students to wait until a teacher tells them what to do and how to do it.
- Schools their students to listen to people that our better trained than them and to make meaning of their lives. This can cause problems for the future.
- Successful students vs. Bad students according to this lesson?
- Kids are evaluated and judged all the time in school.
- Done by grades, tests, and progress reports.
- This is how a student decides if he is a good or bad student.
- Teaches students to not trust themselves or parents but on the evaluation of their tests.
One Can't Hide
- Children are constantly being watched by their teacher or other supervisors at the school.
- Children tattle on other children and even parents tell the teacher about how the student is doing.
- Does this teach children that no one can be trusted?
What can be done? How do we stop this destructive pattern?
- Independent study, community service, adventures and experience, privacy and solitude, and apprenticeships are ways to repair children.
- Community instead of institutions. Students should be active community members and get out of the classroom.
- Finally, less school NOT MORE!