This is a long piece that I’ve had in my Instapaper account for a while and have intended to read for years.
After a few jolts of caffeine, I tackled the piece and wasn’t disappointed…
Against School, by John Taylor Gatto: “Now for the good news. Once you understand the logic behind modern schooling, its tricks and traps are fairly easy to avoid. School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they’ll never be bored. Urge them to take on the serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology – all the stuff schoolteachers know well enough to avoid. Challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone, and they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired and quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more meaningful life, and they can.”
Follow the link and read the whole piece. I don’t agree with many of the logic skips of Gatto when it comes to constructing a Prussian-Marxist structure of compulsory education but the spirit of the article certainly rings true.
Time for me to start being a teacher that encourages leaders and adventurers instead of employees and consumers in our classroom.