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News and Information for the Ishmael Community

Found 1 entries.

Added: Sunday, January 6, 2002

Another who challenges the myths of schooling

John Taylor Gatto taught in NYC for 30 years. Before quitting the profession with an op/ed piece in the Wall Street Journal announcing his refusal "to hurt children anymore," he was named 1991 teacher of the year for NYC and NY State. The link below will take you to the acceptance speech he delivered on the occasion of winning the award.

It's a powerful statement, if made by one still under the spell of the Great Forgetting; it didn't occur to Gatto to wonder how humans managed to educate their children with complete success for three million years before we came along with the bright idea of sending them off to prison-schools. And it's unfortunate that, having established very convincingly that schooling is anti-life and anti-child, he failed to draw the logical conclusion but instead speaks of "reforming" it. You can no more "reform" schooling than you can reform slavery. Like slavery, its intrinsic operation is to destroy human value; like slavery, you can't reform it, you can only abolish it. Perhaps he reached this conclusion by the time he quit teaching altogether. In any case, the statement adds a lot of valuable background and insight to the indictment of schooling presented in My Ishmael.

Read the speech at Schooling.

For a website devoted to his ideas, go to Gatto.

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