The Lessons Schools Teach

I’m hesitant to quote John Taylor Gatto for several reasons, but I am doing it anyway…

Anyone who has looked into alternative views on public education has run into the work of John Taylor Gatto. Gatto was New York City Teacher of the Year three times, and New York State Teacher of the year once. One thing he makes very clear, though, is that his teaching success had nothing to do with the system that employed him, and everything to do with his willingness to defy it. The methods he used to help his students, many of whom were already labelled as defective and inferior, were not sanctioned by the school system. He has proudly admitted that he did things that were actually illegal, because that’s what real learning required.

None of that bothers me, but I have some disagreements with Gatto’s political and social hyperbole. I agree with a lot  of  his criticisms, but they often lead me in a different direction. So, while I am less than sure about some of his historical and political arguments, I am quite in agreement with his practical assessments of our school system based on his classroom experiences. Those observations strike me as dead on accurate. Continue reading “The Lessons Schools Teach”