“Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”[Bold & Italics Emphasis Added]
“It is absurd and anti-life to be part of the system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does.”[Bold & Italics Emphasis Added]
February 22, 2020
There are individuals out there that whittle facing the storm, and there are those who challenge the storm. The late John Taylor Gatto is one of the latter.
Gatto is the former NY City and NY State Teacher of the year (1991), where he inspired his students to achieve some amazing results through his nontraditional methods of instruction.
Not only has Gatto been relentless in detailing many of the inherent issues within the public school system for quite some time now, but he’s had the courage to take it a step further and detail that all of the issues within public schooling are not mistakes, it is done by design.
To illustrate this, an excerpt of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons Of Mass Instruction will follow below.
Within Weapons Of Mass Instruction, John Taylor Gatto breaks down Alexander Inglis’s book Principles of Secondary Education, which:
“..makes it perfectly clear that compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table. Divide children by subject, by age-grading, by constant rankings on tests, and by many other more subtle means, and it was unlikely that the ignorant mass of mankind, separated in childhood, would ever re-integrated into a dangerous whole.”[Bold Emphasis Added]
Furthermore, Gatto notes that Inglis, who has an honor lecture in education named for him in Harvard, breaks down the natural purpose of schooling into 6 basic functions,” which are as follows:
- The adjective or adaptive function. Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority…It is also pretty much destroys the idea that useful or interesting material should be taught, because you can’t test for reflexive obedience until you know whether you can make kids learn, and do, foolish and boring things.
2. The integrating function. This might well be called “the conformity function,” because its intention is to make children as alike as possible. People who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a larger labor force.
3. The diagnostic and directive function. School is meant to determine each student’s proper role in society. 4. The differentiating function. Once the social role has been “diagnosed,” children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits – and not one step further. So much for making kids their personal best.
5. The selective function. This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin’s theory of natural selection as applied to what he called “the favored races…Schools are meant to tag the unfit – with poor grades, remedial placement, and other punishments – clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior and effectively bar them from the reproductive sweepstakes. That’s what all those little humiliations from first grade onward were intended to do: wash the dirt down the drain.
6. The propaedeutic function. The societal system implied by these rules will require an elite group of caretakers. To that end, a small fraction of the kids will be quietly taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and corporations might never want for obedient labor.” [xviii-xix][Bold Emphasis Added]
And just in case some wonder if Inglis was alone in these thoughts, he was certainly not. Horace Mann, James Bryant Conant, George Peabody, and many others shared the same sentiments.
What we witness above is nothing more than the employment of Social Engineering from the bottom up, at a national scale, beginning with the most malleable minds in the land – those of children. It doesn’t get any more cut and dry.
John Taylor Gatto is one of the few individuals out there whose wisdom seeps into all societal strata, given that education, and the lack there of affects all of us. His timeless words should be heeded, because the issue is only exacerbating year after year.
In life, an individual can choose to write their own script, or be part of someone else’s.
As we can gather, if those in control of the system carry out their plans of mass conformity and control, children, an all future generations, will never write their own authentic scripts unless they breakaway from those proverbial shackles.
Education, true classical education, and not the facsimile society is being sold, is the only way out. Everything else is merely a parody, and by public schooling’s repeated failures this is shown to be true.
Sources & References:
John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, pg. 23.
 Ibid., pg. 24.
 John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons Of Mass Instruction, pp. xviii
 Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.
Suggested Reading & Viewing:
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Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx by Tommi Juhani Hanjijarvi Ph.D.
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
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The Secret Space Program & Breakaway Civilization by Richard Dolan