The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling

Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”[1][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.”[2][Bold & Italics Emphasis Added]

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
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.”[3][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:

  1. 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 possiblePeople 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:

[1]John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, pg. 23.
[2] Ibid., pg. 24.
[3] John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons Of Mass Instruction, pp. xviii
[4] Ibid., pp. xviii-xix.

——————————————————————————————————
Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
Are You Living Your Dreams?
The Divide & Conquer Left Right Paradigm
What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introduction To Phylosophy Via Plato’s Apology By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi
A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David Morrow
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
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.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Classrooms Of The Heart [Mini Documentary] – John Taylor Gatto
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
History So It Doesn’t Repeat – The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America with Charlotte Iserbyt
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Propaganda by Edward Bernays 
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan
The Secret Space Program & Breakaway Civilization by Richard Dolan

The Divide & Conquer Left | Right Paradigm

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil.”
– John Adams

“They don’t want to see us unite: All they want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting.  They don’t want to see us live together: all they want to do is keep on killing one another.”
– Bob Marley

leftrightparadigm
BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 21, 2020

Divide & Conquer as a socially engineering mechanism has existed for quite some time now, countless centuries in fact.   But even though such has been known to be the case, it’s still incredibly concerning how many people still fall for the Divide &Conquer Left-Right Paradigm, as if it’s something new.

Given the enormous amount of division taking that has been growing over the last few decades, and seeing an even larger increase in society nowadays, it seemed timely to take a gander at the Divide & Conquer Left-Right Paradigm again.

Nowhere is the socially engineered fracturing of the populace more obvious then within the bowels of social media, where individuals of all walks of life attempt to make other people conform to their points of views, without rarely ever seeking an understanding of the other individual’s side, nor any common ground.  In other words, it’s a clinic on “my-way-or-the-high-way”.

That’s quite unfortunate, because without genuine, open, and mindful communications, public discourse stands no chance in creating positive change on any level.  If individuals cannot get to square one, what positive change can be had?  None.

Now, square one doesn’t mean blindly agreeing with someone, nay.  It simply means finding common ground, a venture point from which to proceed in tackling actionable intelligence.  Be that is may, the issue of Divide & Conquer is a lot more problematic than it seems at a cursory glance.

Divide and Conquer is a concept that siphons an enormous amount of the population’s time, and yet, receives no attention from mainstream media, and barely even the alternative media, and that’s incredibly concerning.  That time could be allocated in more positive ways, from applying that time to foster substantial relationships, to venturing into creative ideas, to perhaps even focusing on health.  Those are not even considerations though.

To be precise though, what exactly is this socially engineered and bifurcated left-right paradigm?

To simplify, the left-right paradigm is a concept from political sciences and anthropology which proposes that societies have a tendency to divide themselves into ideological opposites.

That’s certainly one way to look at it.

Another way of viewing this would be proposing part of the establishment carries out this division on purpose to make it seem like there are only two sides to every debate, thus making the populace a lot more malleable and easier to control.  After all, two sides to any significant issue are magnitudes easier to control than say, hundreds, or thousands of individual groups, each vying independently to make change.

Diving deeper, let’s take a cursory glance at some – although certainly not all – of the permutations that the left/right paradigm is often bandied as. Being cognizant of these will make it easier for an individual to center their mind onto particular divisive agendas that are taking place within the media.

The Left/Right paradigm includes, but is not limited to:

– Back people vs. White people
– Muslim vs. Christians
– Republicans vs. Democrats
– East vs. West
– US vs. Russia/China
– US vs. Middle East
– Poor vs. Rich
– Liberals vs. Conservatives [could dovetail into politics, but it need not]
– Religion vs. Atheism
– Gay vs. Straight
– Women vs. Men
– Young vs. Old
– Prolife vs. Prochoice

There are many more derivatives, but those examples are some of the most salient ones out there.

In any case, take a good minute or two to ponder at that list again. What don’t you notice anywhere?

The individual.

To those in power, the individual is antithetical to the establishment’s plans.  I myself learned this from Jon Rappoport (NoMoreFakeNews.com), for he centers on the Individual from so many angles you not only get to see the power of the individual, but why the individual is subsumed into the collective.  But why is that the case?

This is because the individual is a rebel, someone to be avoided at all cost, because the individual is not afraid to stand alone or to buck the trend.  Those that think for themselves are a problem to those in power because they are not afraid to question, which should be something done often, for it allows an individual to hone their mental faculties and get to the truth.  But that is problematic to those that love to employ the Divide and Conquer op.

This is why from youth, particularly through schooling, society has been indoctrinated to conform, to fit within these divide and conquer structures that fracture the populace.

A keen glance at how the system operates is crucial in order to understand the full breadth and scope of this issue and how it starts from the nascent stages in our lives.

For this we will take a gander at some snippets provided by John Taylor Gatto’s phenomenal book, Dumbing Us Down The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling.

On the pervasive and derisive issue of divide and conquer Gatto trenchantly notes:

“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” [1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Not allowing individuals to be part of other points of views in life, to diversity – other shades in the endless spectrum of life – stultifies their growth because their mind (and perspective) doesn’t expand as it would if they were exposed to many points of views.  Furthermore, it inculcates the meme that the box – whatever reality the comptrollers are parading around – is all there is, and anything beyond the box is to be seen as suspect.  Ideas do not get considered and creativity gets incinerated at warp speed, like a snowman in a blast furnace.

Likewise:

The highest value to the Combine [those in control] is neither democracy nor accountability, but compliance, pure and simple, and its favorite stratagem is to divide and conquer.  And if that doesn’t work, there’s always drugs.”[2][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added, Italic Emphasis In Original.]

It doesn’t get any more surgically precise than that.

This is why ultimately, freedom from conformity is as vital as ever if the individual is to (mentally) survive and keep their inherent nature, and if society is going to shed the shackles of division that benefit the comptrollers.

In fact, being free and not conforming, staying away from collectivism was so important that Thomas Jefferson once echoed these poignant words:

I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men…where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction [to a party] is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go at all.”[Emphasis Added]

In other words, as long as the individual is lucid enough to think for themselves, and has the foresight, logic, and critical thinking needed to understand these issues, they will be the antithesis to the conformity crisis that is ever present in modern times and continues to increase.  But without self-directed education, the individual risks being subsumed into the group, unable to see the net that’s cast to prevent them from heading off into the wild waters of the world, away from experiencing the ocean of life as it truly is and all of the beauty that it provides.

The self-cognizant and critical thinking individual will never be part of the group. They will always be a person within a group, there’s a difference, and this distinction is crucial.

How can an individual rectify this relentless situation?

Perhaps it’s best to heed the words of Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, which they shared in their notable book, How To Read A Book

The best protection against propaganda of any sort is the recognition of it for what it is Only hidden and undetected oratory is really insidious.  What reaches the heart without going through the mind is likely to bounce back and put the mind out of business.   Propaganda taken in that way is like a drug you do not know you are swallowing The effect is mysterious; you do not even know afterwards why you feel or think the way you do.“[3][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

A person can’t tackle issues they are blind too.  It’s impossible.

And isn’t it ironic that people, immediately after taking a swallowing the propaganda blue pills from the mainstream media – and even alternative media – soon forgo all logic and reason, acting in primal fashion based on the box-version of reality most media parades?  It’s almost like a scheduled hatred session, not unlike hateweek in Orwell’s 1984.[4]

Knowing this, what’s an incisive and critical thinking individual to do?

Cut these issues off at the pass, don’t fall for the divisionary tactics.

Be wary about anything that stokes the fires of division.  Follow your own intuition.

Realize that following your intuition is merely the first step in a long process of growth that you – as an individual – will go through once your mind is open and capable of discerning divisive mechanisms for what they are.

Once individuals fully comprehend how the system strives to use every single individual as pawns in a game, it’s easy to quit the nonsense altogether.  You begin seeing that you are part of a much larger structure, and it is because you have power, power that those that employ the Divide and Conquer op don’t want you to realize.  Because you might just take your life into your own hands, becoming so authentic that you become antithetical to collectivism, thus not only learning what you yourself can do by venturing outside of the norm, but also teaching others in the process simply by being yourselfThat type of instance creates resonance that’s incredible, and it starts with you.

But more importantly, the individual should relish their inherent capability of knowing that, if they are cognizant of the modus operandi, no amount of propaganda or divisive tactics will ever seep into their mind.  Thus, this brings about the ability to think lucidly, decisively, and proactively.

This is why breaking away into total awareness is the key, for only by becoming aware of hinders you, can you eventually over come in.
___________________________________________________________
Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, p. 24.
[2] Ibid., p. xvii.
[3] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book, pg. 194.
[4] George Orwell, 1984, in reference to Hateweek, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_week

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is author of Amor Vincit Omnia – Love Conquers All, and also an avid book reviewer, poet, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, health freedom advocate, and writer who aims at empowering individuals in many ways, while also delving deeper and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, Individuality, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

Add Me On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZMarquiez
Follow The Page On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BreakawayIndividual/

___________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
Are You Living Your Dreams?
What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introduction To Phylosophy Via Plato’s Apology By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi
A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David Morrow
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
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.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Classrooms Of The Heart [Mini Documentary] – John Taylor Gatto
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
History So It Doesn’t Repeat – The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America with Charlotte Iserbyt
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

History So It Doesn’t Repeat: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America w/ Charlotte Iserbyt | #History | #Education

Source: TragedyAndHope
February 20, 2020

Tonight, on History… So It Doesn’t Repeat: we discuss the past, present, and future of public schooling, with Charlotte Iserbyt, former Sr. Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Education. We’ll discover the root cause of the Deliberate Dumbing Down of Americans. Learning’s the answer. What’s the Question? It’s all coming up on History… So It Doesn’t Repeat!

__________________________________________________________
Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
Are You Living Your Dreams?
What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introduction To Phylosophy Via Plato’s Apology By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi
A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David Morrow
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

Book Review: Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto | #SmartReads #BookReview #Education #Conformity

[Editor’s Note]

This is a repost given that WordPress (is again) censoring posts from showing on the original content tab.  It’s already happened a handful of times, so I’ll keep uploading until it goes through.  No matter what I try, the review keeps getting (predictably) censored, so let’s try one more time, shall we?
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“The math standard focuses on investigative math, which has been shown to be a disaster…With the new math standard in the Common Core, there are no longer absolute truths. So 3 times 4 can equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.”[1][Bold Emphasis added]

The Common Core emphasizes teaching students to think of what they learn as “evidence” that can be used into making “arguments” as opposed to “facts” that help the student discern how things are. For the most part, the Common Core steers away from giving students a concrete picture of the world.”[2][Bold Emphasis added]

Dumbing Us Down

BreakawayIndiviual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 11, 2020

The late John Taylor Gatto was an award winning teacher that wasn’t afraid to buck the trend. And bucking the tumultuous trend of the declining education in America is exactly what Gatto sought to accomplish in his first book.

Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling was published in 1992, and is a masterly opening salvo and in-depth overview into how public schooling really works.

Sampling many of his best personal essays, Dumbing Us Down features the true reasons why education in our modern day system is failing: because it’s meant to be that way.

Gatto reinforces his main premise with a thorough examination of public schooling in America using source material he found throughout his research. Moreover, Gatto carries this out incisively with a no holds barred approach that is very refreshing.

While many others have tippy-toed their way around the failure in modern schooling, Gatto harpoons the heart of the matter:

“…schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet.  No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes.  The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”[4][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.”[5][Bold & Italics Emphasis Added]

Such scathing statements leave no question to Gatto’s courageous stance, and help the reader understand the plight all individuals – and society itself – faces via the one-size-fits-all approach of public schooling.

Another glaring issue of modern schooling is how vital the community is, and more importantly, the family unit, in helping foster a healthier, more independent, more curious, and ultimately more self-sufficient individuals through proper education.  While this might seem obvious in hindsight, it isn’t being employed that much in our modern environs.

Continuously throughout the length of the book, Gatto fiercely touches upon the many different factors that have helped cause this growing dilemma.  Some of these include the overwhelming amount of television being watched by society in general, and more specifically by children, while other components have to deal with the inherent designs of schooling such as the fragmentation of education, the removal of the family from an individual’s education, the poor life tenets individuals are taught, and much more.

One of the zeniths of the book is what Gatto calls ‘The 7-Lesson School Teacher’. In this piece, Gatto shows what teachers are truly expected to inculcate into students.

For example, one of the 7 Lessons Gatto states teachers teach is Class Position. On this, Gatto notes that:

“[his] job is to make them like being locked together with children who bear numbers like their own…If I do my job well, the kids can’t even imagine themselves somewhere else because I’ve shown them how to envy and fear the better classes and how to have contempt for the dumb classes. Under this efficient discipline the class mostly polices itself into good marching order. That’s the real lesson of any rigged competition like school. You come to know your place.”[6][Bold Emphasis Added. Italics Emphasis In Original]

Is it any wonder why society operates in the way it does, mirroring the very ideas that Gatto mentions?

The 7-Lesson School Teacher might seem facetious or downright ludicrous, but it really isn’t.  When one views what Gatto is stating with an open mind – while keeping cognizance of the fact that he worked for over 3 decades for the public schooling system and knows exactly what he was talking about – then one completely comes to terms with why failure in schooling isn’t the exception, but the rule.

In fact, more specifically, Gatto gets at the heart of why public schooling is destined to fail:

Mass education cannot work to produce a fair society because its daily practice is practice in rigged competition, suppression and intimidation.  The schools we’ve allowed to develop can’t work to teach nonmaterial values, the values which give meaning to everyone’s life, rich or poor, because the structure of schooling is held together by a Byzantine tapestry of reward and threat, of carrots and sticks.  Official favor, grades, and other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom.”[7][Bold Emphasis Added]

Gatto has unbounded a phenomenal book in the field of public schooling and more importantly, what true education should encompass.  Please keep in mind, schooling and education are not the same thing.  This differentiation, and what each set of terms mean are one of the main gems of this book.

Dumbing Us Down is a veritable fountain of information that is intense in precision and thought-provoking in its implications. These very implications filter into all aspects of our lives, and ultimately echo into the future and as such should be taken very seriously.  This is why it’s vitally important for individuals to become self-directed learners, also known as autodidacts.

Only through self-directed learning carried out at the grass roots level by individuals is the world going to change. If the world is to have a positive future of critically thinking, inspired, creative, educated and innovative individuals, it starts now, in the present. It starts with you retaking the reigns of your own education.

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Sources & References:

[1] Sandra Stotsky, Drilling Through The Core, pg. 48.
[2] Ibid., pg. 35.
[3] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, pg. 21.
[4] Ibid., pg. 23.
[5] Ibid., pg. 24.
[6] Ibid., pg. 5.
[7] Ibid., pg. 69.

_________________________________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

_________________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture by Professor Patrick Deneen | #Culture

[Editor’s Note]

Professor Patrick Deneen speaks at length as to the myriad reasons why the culture is declining and what type of transformation is taking place in society.

If there’s one thing you read today, let it be this, for the concerns shared by Professor Deneen do not only seep into our present state, but will echo into the future, whether we like it or not.

ScreenHunter_4103 Feb. 11 11.21

Source: MindingTheCampus.org
Professor Patrick Deneen
February 11, 2020

My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.

It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame. Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them:  they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject); they build superb resumes. They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though easy-going if crude with their peers. They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically). They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting to run America and the world.

But ask them some basic questions about the civilization they will be inheriting, and be prepared for averted eyes and somewhat panicked looks. Who fought in the Peloponnesian War? Who taught Plato, and whom did Plato teach? How did Socrates die? Raise your hand if you have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Canterbury Tales? Paradise Lost? The Inferno?

Who was Saul of Tarsus? What were the 95 theses, who wrote them, and what was their effect? Why does the Magna Carta matter? How and where did Thomas Becket die? Who was Guy Fawkes, and why is there a day named after him? What did Lincoln say in his Second Inaugural? His first Inaugural? How about his third Inaugural?  What are the Federalist Papers?

Some students, due most often to serendipitous class choices or a quirky old-fashioned teacher, might know a few of these answers. But most students have not been educated to know them. At best, they possess accidental knowledge, but otherwise are masters of systematic ignorance. It is not their “fault” for pervasive ignorance of western and American history, civilization, politics, art and literature. They have learned exactly what we have asked of them – to be like mayflies, alive by happenstance in a fleeting present.

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide. The end of history for our students signals the End of History for the West.

During my lifetime, lamentation over student ignorance has been sounded by the likes of E.D. Hirsch, Allan Bloom, Mark Bauerlein and Jay Leno, among many others. But these lamentations have been leavened with the hope that appeal to our and their better angels might reverse the trend (that’s an allusion to Lincoln’s first inaugural address, by the way). E.D. Hirsch even worked up a self-help curriculum, a do-it yourself guide on how to become culturally literate, imbued with the can-do American spirit that cultural defenestration could be reversed by a good reading list in the appendix. Broadly missing is sufficient appreciation that this ignorance is the intended consequence of our educational system, a sign of its robust health and success.

We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders. What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free processes and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”

Our students are the achievement of a systemic commitment to producing individuals without a past for whom the future is a foreign country, cultureless ciphers who can live anywhere and perform any kind of work without inquiring about its purposes or ends, perfected tools for an economic system that prizes “flexibility” (geographic, interpersonal, ethical).

In such a world, possessing a culture, a history, an inheritance, a commitment to a place and particular people, specific forms of gratitude and indebtedness (rather than a generalized and deracinated commitment to “social justice”), a strong set of ethical and moral norms that assert definite limits to what one ought and ought not to do (aside from being “judgmental”) are hindrances and handicaps.

Regardless of major or course of study, the main object of modern education is to sand off remnants of any cultural or historical specificity and identity that might still stick to our students, to make them perfect company men and women for a modern polity and economy that penalizes deep commitments. Efforts first to foster appreciation for “multi-culturalism” signaled a dedication to eviscerate any particular cultural inheritance, while the current fad of “diversity” signals thoroughgoing commitment to de-cultured and relentless homogenization.

We Must Know…What?

Above all, the one overarching lesson that students receive is the true end of education: the only essential knowledge is that know ourselves to be radically autonomous selves within a comprehensive global system with a common commitment to mutual indifference. Our commitment to mutual indifference is what binds us together as a global people. Any remnant of a common culture would interfere with this prime directive:  a common culture would imply that we share something thicker, an inheritance that we did not create, and a set of commitments that imply limits and particular devotions.

Ancient philosophy and practice praised as an excellent form of government a res publica – a devotion to public things, things we share together. We have instead created the world’s first Res Idiotica – from the Greek word idiotes, meaning “private individual.” Our education system produces solipsistic, self-contained selves whose only public commitment is an absence of commitment to a public, a common culture, a shared history. They are perfectly hollowed vessels, receptive and obedient, without any real obligations or devotions.

They won’t fight against anyone, because that’s not seemly, but they won’t fight for anyone or anything either. They are living in a perpetual Truman Show, a world constructed yesterday that is nothing more than a set for their solipsism, without any history or trajectory.

I love my students – like any human being, each has enormous potential and great gifts to bestow upon the world. But I weep for them, for what is rightfully theirs but hasn’t been given. On our best days, I discern their longing and anguish and I know that their innate human desire to know who they are, where they have come from, where they ought to go, and how they ought to live will always reassert itself. But even on those better days, I can’t help but hold the hopeful thought that the world they have inherited – a world without inheritance, without past, future, or deepest cares – is about to come tumbling down, and that this collapse would be the true beginning of a real education.


Patrick Deneen is David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies at Notre Dame.

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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

 

 

 

Amairikuhn Edgykayshun’s Enstupidation Continues

GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
December 11, 2019

By now, if you’re a regular reader here, you know I have to occasionally rant about the state of Amairikuhn Edgykayshun. But today I’m not going to rant, because the article that V.T. sent along (and my thanks!) is more properly greeted with tears than anger. The statistics it cites are sobering reading:

How Dumb Have We Become? Chinese Students Are 4 Grade Levels Ahead Of U.S. Students In Math

Amairikuhn edgykayshun is a microcosm of the country as a (w)hole: nothing works; the system is not designed to reflect the vast majority of people, or for that matter, any sort of traditional culture as might have thus far survived. The progressive movement that began first in education in the nineteenth century, and then later captured large swaths of both political parties, is triumphant. It has completed its march through the institutions, and captured the academy. And the result, in the latter, is abject failure, and Amairikuh is completely “enstupidated”; consider just these entries from the article:

#1 One recent survey found that 74 percent of Americans don’t even know how many amendments are in the Bill of Rights.

#2 An earlier survey discovered that 37 percent of Americans cannot name a single right protected by the First Amendment.

#3 Shockingly, only 26 percent of Americans can name all three branches of government.

#4 During the 2016 election, more than 40 percent of Americans did not know who was running for vice-president from either of the major parties.

#5 North Carolina is considering passing a law which would “mean only scores lower than 39 percent would qualify for an F grade” in North Carolina public schools.

#6 30 years ago, the United States awarded more high school diplomas than anyone in the world. Today, we have fallen to 36th place.

#7 According to the Pentagon, 71 percent of our young adults are ineligible to serve in the U.S. military because they are either too dumb, too fat or have a criminal background.

#18 Today, the average college freshman in the United States reads at a 7th grade level.

I can attest to similar experiences. And forgive me if I’ve mentioned these personal experiences before in my “edykayshunal rants,” but they bear repeating. Back when I was teaching college in the late 1990s, I once began a Modern European History examination with a question that ran something like this: “Name five provisions of the Treaty of Versailles and discuss their implications.” One student – an “edgykayshun” student incidentally – answered that question by beginning “The treaty of Versigh…”  Yes. It’s that bad, and students are that stupid and oblivious. And that was the 1990s, so I can readily believe the points in this article. And it’s worth mentioning that during my time teaching in college, I learned many things from my students, namely, that Ulysses Grant commanded the Army of Northern Virginia, that Germany won World War One (in 1914, no less!), and that, as one snowflake put it on her examination, “Hitler had some personal issues,” and with that bit of pop psychology, all the crimes of the Nazi regime were “explained.”

Perhaps I was simply a bad professor, but I don’t think so.

One reason I don’t think so is that as an adjunct, I was not allowed to pick my own textbooks in some cases. This was done by the tenured faculty at the main campuses of the institutions I taught for. In one case, the textbook I was required to use for Russian History actually referred to Stalin as a “great statesman,” with but passing glosses on the Stalinist purges, and an almost total mangling of the effects of collectivization. More recently, Diana West, in her important book The Red Thread: A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, noted that Nellie Ohr, when reviewing a book about Stalin, wrote the following:

The opening of Ohr’s review of the … book, written while she was teaching Russian history at Vassar in 1995, is worth quoting, not for what it tells us about the book, but what it tells us about the reviewer. Ohr writes:

“To introduce students to the Stalin era can be a frustrating task. To convey the terror and excitement of the period, one can assign a memoir of a prison camp victim or an observer such as John Scott or Maurice Hindus.” (West, op. cit., p. 9)

There it is… it was exciting, a ride on the Stalinroller coaster at Six Flags Over Novosibirsk.

So what’s to be done? If you’re a parent, and have children being victimized by this abominable system – and there are no other words for it than those – one place to start would be to research your local colleges of education, read their texts, find out how much time future teachers spend in education classes versus learning the actual subjects they want to teach. Attend a few of those teacher “continuing education” seminars, or a few education classes, and find out for yourself just how looney and loopy those classes really are. Talk with teachers who think that all that claptrap is… well, claptrap, and have brainstorming and strategy sessions in what to do about it.

And if you’re a teacher who is fed up with the childish games being played in methodology or pedagogy courses, or have an anecdote on the latest silliness you had to undergo at your last “continuing education” seminars, please share them in the comments, or if you have a mind, write a guest blog about it.

Read More @ GizaDeathStar.com

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About Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Against School – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids & Why by The Late John Taylor Gatto

Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”

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.”
– John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down

Source: WesJones.com | Published by Harper’s Magazine
John Taylor Gatto

How Public Education Cripples Our Kids & Why

I taught for thirty years in some of the worst schools in Manhattan, and in some of the best, and during that time I became an expert in boredom. Boredom was everywhere in my world, and if you asked the kids, as I often did, why they felt so bored, they always gave the same answers: They said the work was stupid, that it made no sense, that they already knew it. They said they wanted to be doing something real, not just sitting around. They said teachers didn’t seem to know much about their subjects and clearly weren’t interested in learning more. And the kids were right: their teachers were every bit as bored as they were.

Boredom is the common condition of schoolteachers, and anyone who has spent time in a teachers’ lounge can vouch for the low energy, the whining, the dispirited attitudes, to be found there. When asked why they feel bored, the teachers tend to blame the kids, as you might expect. Who wouldn’t get bored teaching students who are rude and interested only in grades? If even that. Of course, teachers are themselves products of the same twelve-year compulsory school programs that so thoroughly bore their students, and as school personnel they are trapped inside structures even more rigid than those imposed upon the children. Who, then, is to blame?

We all are. My grandfather taught me that. One afternoon when I was seven I complained to him of boredom, and he batted me hard on the head. He told me that I was never to use that term in his presence again, that if I was bored it was my fault and no one else’s. The obligation to amuse and instruct myself was entirely my own, and people who didn’t know that were childish people, to be avoided if possible. Certainly not to be trusted. That episode cured me of boredom forever, and here and there over the years I was able to pass on the lesson to some remarkable student. For the most part, however, I found it futile to challenge the official notion that boredom and childishness were the natural state of affairs in the classroom. Often I had to defy custom, and even bend the law, to help kids break out of this trap.

The empire struck back, of course; childish adults regularly conflate opposition with disloyalty. I once returned from a medical leave to discover that all evidence of my having been granted the leave had been purposely destroyed, that my job had been terminated, and that I no longer possessed even a teaching license. After nine months of tormented effort I was able to retrieve the license when a school secretary testified to witnessing the plot unfold. In the meantime my family suffered more than I care to remember. By the time I finally retired in 1991, I had more than enough reason to think of our schools – with their long-term, cell-block-style, forced confinement of both students and teachers – as virtual factories of childishness. Yet I honestly could not see why they had to be that way. My own experience had revealed to me what many other teachers must learn along the way, too, yet keep to themselves for fear of reprisal: if we wanted to we could easily and inexpensively jettison the old, stupid structures and help kids take an education rather than merely receive a schooling. We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight – simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids to truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then.

But we don’t do that. And the more I asked why not, and persisted in thinking about the “problem” of schooling as an engineer might, the more I missed the point: What if there is no “problem” with our schools? What if they are the way they are, so expensively flying in the face of common sense and long experience in how children learn things, not because they are doing something wrong but because they are doing something right? Is it possible that George W. Bush accidentally spoke the truth when he said we would “leave no child behind”? Could it be that our schools are designed to make sure not one of them ever really grows up?

Do we really need school? I don’t mean education, just forced schooling: six classes a day, five days a week, nine months a year, for twelve years. Is this deadly routine really necessary? And if so, for what? Don’t hide behind reading, writing, and arithmetic as a rationale, because 2 million happy homeschoolers have surely put that banal justification to rest. Even if they hadn’t, a considerable number of well-known Americans never went through the twelve-year wringer our kids currently go through, and they turned out all right. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln? Someone taught them, to be sure, but they were not products of a school system, and not one of them was ever “graduated” from a secondary school. Throughout most of American history, kids generally didn’t go to high school, yet the unschooled rose to be admirals, like Farragut; inventors, like Edison; captains of industry, like Carnegie and Rockefeller; writers, like Melville and Twain and Conrad; and even scholars, like Margaret Mead. In fact, until pretty recently people who reached the age of thirteen weren’t looked upon as children at all. Ariel Durant, who co-wrote an enormous, and very good, multivolume history of the world with her husband, Will, was happily married at fifteen, and who could reasonably claim that Ariel Durant was an uneducated person? Unschooled, perhaps, but not uneducated.

We have been taught (that is, schooled) in this country to think of “success” as synonymous with, or at least dependent upon, “schooling,” but historically that isn’t true in either an intellectual or a financial sense. And plenty of people throughout the world today find a way to educate themselves without resorting to a system of compulsory secondary schools that all too often resemble prisons. Why, then, do Americans confuse education with just such a system? What exactly is the purpose of our public schools?

Mass schooling of a compulsory nature really got its teeth into the United States between 1905 and 1915, though it was conceived of much earlier and pushed for throughout most of the nineteenth century. The reason given for this enormous upheaval of family life and cultural traditions was, roughly speaking, threefold:

1) To make good people.
2) To make good citizens.
3) To make each person his or her personal best.

These goals are still trotted out today on a regular basis, and most of us accept them in one form or another as a decent definition of public education’s mission, however short schools actually fall in achieving them. But we are dead wrong. Compounding our error is the fact that the national literature holds numerous and surprisingly consistent statements of compulsory schooling’s true purpose. We have, for example, the great H. L. Mencken, who wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim.. . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States . . . and that is its aim everywhere else.

Because of Mencken’s reputation as a satirist, we might be tempted to dismiss this passage as a bit of hyperbolic sarcasm. His article, however, goes on to trace the template for our own educational system back to the now vanished, though never to be forgotten, military state of Prussia. And although he was certainly aware of the irony that we had recently been at war with Germany, the heir to Prussian thought and culture, Mencken was being perfectly serious here. Our educational system really is Prussian in origin, and that really is cause for concern.

The odd fact of a Prussian provenance for our schools pops up again and again once you know to look for it. William James alluded to it many times at the turn of the century. Orestes Brownson, the hero of Christopher Lasch’s 1991 book, The True and Only Heaven, was publicly denouncing the Prussianization of American schools back in the 1840s. Horace Mann’s “Seventh Annual Report” to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here. That Prussian culture loomed large in America is hardly surprising, given our early association with that utopian state. A Prussian served as Washington’s aide during the Revolutionary War, and so many German- speaking people had settled here by 1795 that Congress considered publishing a German-language edition of the federal laws. But what shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of the very worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens – all in order to render the populace “manageable.”

It was from James Bryant Conant – president of Harvard for twenty years, WWI poison-gas specialist, WWII executive on the atomic-bomb project, high commissioner of the American zone in Germany after WWII, and truly one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century – that I first got wind of the real purposes of American schooling. Without Conant, we would probably not have the same style and degree of standardized testing that we enjoy today, nor would we be blessed with gargantuan high schools that warehouse 2,000 to 4,000 students at a time, like the famous Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado. Shortly after I retired from teaching I picked up Conant’s 1959 book-length essay, The Child the Parent and the State, and was more than a little intrigued to see him mention in passing that the modern schools we attend were the result of a “revolution” engineered between 1905 and 1930. A revolution? He declines to elaborate, but he does direct the curious and the uninformed to Alexander Inglis’s 1918 book, Principles of Secondary Education, in which “one saw this revolution through the eyes of a revolutionary.”

Inglis, for whom a lecture in education at Harvard is named, 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. Modern, industrialized, compulsory schooling was to make a sort of surgical incision into the prospective unity of these underclasses. 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 reintegrate into a dangerous whole.

Inglis breaks down the purpose – the actual purpose – of modem schooling into six basic functions, any one of which is enough to curl the hair of those innocent enough to believe the three traditional goals listed earlier:

1) The adjustive or adaptive function. Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. This, of course, precludes critical judgment completely. It 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 large labor force.

3) The diagnostic and directive function. School is meant to determine each student’s proper social role. This is done by logging evidence mathematically and anecdotally on cumulative records. As in “your permanent record.” Yes, you do have one.

4) The differentiating function. Once their 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.” In short, the idea is to help things along by consciously attempting to improve the breeding stock. 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 quietly be 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.

That, unfortunately, is the purpose of mandatory public education in this country. And lest you take Inglis for an isolated crank with a rather too cynical take on the educational enterprise, you should know that he was hardly alone in championing these ideas. Conant himself, building on the ideas of Horace Mann and others, campaigned tirelessly for an American school system designed along the same lines. Men like George Peabody, who funded the cause of mandatory schooling throughout the South, surely understood that the Prussian system was useful in creating not only a harmless electorate and a servile labor force but also a virtual herd of mindless consumers. In time a great number of industrial titans came to recognize the enormous profits to be had by cultivating and tending just such a herd via public education, among them Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.

There you have it. Now you know. We don’t need Karl Marx’s conception of a grand warfare between the classes to see that it is in the interest of complex management, economic or political, to dumb people down, to demoralize them, to divide them from one another, and to discard them if they don’t conform. Class may frame the proposition, as when Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, said the following to the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909: “We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.” But the motives behind the disgusting decisions that bring about these ends need not be class-based at all. They can stem purely from fear, or from the by now familiar belief that “efficiency” is the paramount virtue, rather than love, liberty, laughter, or hope. Above all, they can stem from simple greed.

There were vast fortunes to be made, after all, in an economy based on mass production and organized to favor the large corporation rather than the small business or the family farm. But mass production required mass consumption, and at the turn of the twentieth century most Americans considered it both unnatural and unwise to buy things they didn’t actually need. Mandatory schooling was a godsend on that count. School didn’t have to train kids in any direct sense to think they should consume nonstop, because it did something even better: it encouraged them not to think at all. And that left them sitting ducks for another great invention of the modem era – marketing.

Now, you needn’t have studied marketing to know that there are two groups of people who can always be convinced to consume more than they need to: addicts and children. School has done a pretty good job of turning our children into addicts, but it has done a spectacular job of turning our children into children. Again, this is no accident. Theorists from Plato to Rousseau to our own Dr. Inglis knew that if children could be cloistered with other children, stripped of responsibility and independence, encouraged to develop only the trivializing emotions of greed, envy, jealousy, and fear, they would grow older but never truly grow up. In the 1934 edition of his once well-known book Public Education in the United States, Ellwood P. Cubberley detailed and praised the way the strategy of successive school enlargements had extended childhood by two to six years, and forced schooling was at that point still quite new. This same Cubberley – who was dean of Stanford’s School of Education, a textbook editor at Houghton Mifflin, and Conant’s friend and correspondent at Harvard – had written the following in the 1922 edition of his book Public School Administration: “Our schools are . . . factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned.. . . And it is the business of the school to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down.”

It’s perfectly obvious from our society today what those specifications were. Maturity has by now been banished from nearly every aspect of our lives. Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions. We have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults. We buy televisions, and then we buy the things we see on the television. We buy computers, and then we buy the things we see on the computer. We buy $150 sneakers whether we need them or not, and when they fall apart too soon we buy another pair. We drive SUVs and believe the lie that they constitute a kind of life insurance, even when we’re upside-down in them. And, worst of all, we don’t bat an eye when Ari Fleischer tells us to “be careful what you say,” even if we remember having been told somewhere back in school that America is the land of the free. We simply buy that one too. Our schooling, as intended, has seen to it.

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.

First, though, we must wake up to what our schools really are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands. Mandatory education serves children only incidentally; its real purpose is to turn them into servants. Don’t let your own have their childhoods extended, not even for a day. If David Farragut could take command of a captured British warship as a preteen, if Thomas Edison could publish a broadsheet at the age of twelve, if Ben Franklin could apprentice himself to a printer at the same age (then put himself through a course of study that would choke a Yale senior today), there’s no telling what your own kids could do [especially with the amount of resources at bay in modern times]. After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.

Read More At: WesJones.com
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**  09/2003 Harper’s Magazine.

* John Taylor Gatto is a former New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year and the author, most recently, of The Underground History of American Education. He was a participant in the Harper’s Magazine forum “School on a Hill,” which appeared in the September 2001 issue. You can find his web site here.

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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan