Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto [Exerpt]

We Begin in God’s Name. Peace and Blessing.

I’ve been caught up, spending most of my time with my nose buried deep in my new book called Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto. If I was to say that this author is a complete and utter genius, I would not, even in the slightest bit, be doing him any justice. You must read the book in order to understand. Once I finish, I hope to do a book review. But, I hope you don’t wait until then to get your own hands on this book. I’m only approximately 5 pages in (mind you that the pages I’ve read were only the prologue, introduction and a few pages about the author- I haven’t even touched the chapters yet) and I’ve already marked down a few dozen quotes and excerpts. For those who aren’t familiar with Mr. Gatto’s or his work, I highly suggest that you brush up on his biography, and his paradigm on education. He is a must know author. In essence, Gatto reveals within his book, Dumbing us Down,  the shocking reality of today’s school systems. For those who believe that the school system has failed in producing well-rounded, self-critical and self-reliant individuals-this book is for you. Contrary to beliefs held by some, Gatto argues that schools are not failing.

On the contrary, they are spectacularly successful in doing precisely what they are intended to do, and what they have been intended to do since their inception.

They were:

[…] explicitly set up to ensure a docile, malleable workforce to meet the growing, changing demands of corporate capitalism.

Gatto goes on to explain the way in which teachers should engage with students in order that they may flourish and nurture the inherent beings that they are.

In theoretical, metaphorical terms, 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, and 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. This is a crucial distinction.

In other words, I dropped the idea that I was an expert whose job it was to fill the little heads with my expertise, and began to explore how I could remove those obstacles that prevented the inherent genius of children from gathering itself.

I am far from finishing this book, and I am looking forward to reading through it all! I don’t know if I can hold myself back from posting up any more quotes. I’m afraid that there wouldn’t be much of a point in posting a book review when all the quotes I would have liked to use are already posted up in snippets.

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Anyways, I do encourage you all to get the book, and read it. It is crucial, especially to those parents who have children currently engaged in the public school system. This has opened my eyes, and challenged me to re-think the reality which so many of us have neglected to comprehend. I think it will also do the same to you.

A’yaan Nusaibah Ibraaheem

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One thought on “Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto [Exerpt]

  1. Pingback: Evolving Humanity through Education: DAY 77 | A Teacher's Journey

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