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Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling


Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling Cover

ISBN13: 9780865716698
ISBN10: 0865716692
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction, now available in paperback, focuses on mechanisms of traditional education that cripple imagination, discourage critical thinking, and create a false view of learning as a byproduct of rote-memorization drills. Gatto’s earlier book, Dumbing Us Down, introduced the now-famous expression of the title into the common vernacular. Weapons of Mass Instruction adds another chilling metaphor to the brief against conventional schooling.

Gatto demonstrates that the harm school inflicts is rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy, he argues, is to render the common population manageable. To that end, young people must be conditioned to rely upon experts, to remain divided from natural alliances, and to accept disconnections from their own lived experiences. They must at all costs be discouraged from developing self-reliance and independence.

Escaping this trap requires strategy Gatto calls “open source learning” which imposes no artificial divisions between learning and life. Through this alternative approach, our children can avoid being indoctrinated—only then that can they achieve self-knowledge, judgment, and courage.

John Taylor Gatto is an internationally renowned speaker who lectures widely on school reform. He taught for thirty years in public schools before resigning on the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal during the year he was named New York’s official “Teacher of the Year.” On April 3, 2008, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard credited Gatto with adding the expression “dumbing us down” to the school debate worldwide.



The transformation of schooling from a twelve-year jail sentence to freedom to learn.

About the Author

John Gatto was a teacher in New York City's public schools for over 30 years and is a recipient of the New York State Teacher of the Year award. A much-sought after speaker on education throughout the United States, his other books include A Different Kind of Teacher (Berkeley Hills Books, 2001) and The Underground History of American Education (Oxford Village Press, 2000).

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Christina Gremore, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Christina Gremore)
This should be required reading for anyone who teaches, leads, or has ever gone to a school. Gatto examines the effects of the industrialization of education on our society, surprisingly arguing that our schools are designed to create passive consumers, not independent, creative citizens. He refutes the myths that Schools use to prop up the system and convince us it's necessary ("If they're not in school, kids will just play video games all day." "If they don't go to school, they won't be able to get a job." "School prepares children for adulthood.")

Reading John Taylor Gatto was an explosive, thought-provoking experience. If I'd been wearing socks, they would've been knocked off. I HIGHLY recommend it.
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Product Details

Gatto, John Taylor
New Society Publishers
Gatto, John Taylor
Educational Policy & Reform
Professional Development
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Teaching Methods & Materials - General
Education-Classroom Resources
Philosophy & Aspects
Edition Description:
Paperback Edition
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 0.55 in 13 oz

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Related Subjects

Education » Assessment
Education » Classroom Resources
Education » General
Education » School Reform and Controversy
Metaphysics » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment

Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages New Society Publishers - English 9780865716698 Reviews:
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The transformation of schooling from a twelve-year jail sentence to freedom to learn.
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