User Tools

Site Tools


dumbing_us_down

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

dumbing_us_down [2011/12/15 17:58]
will [I]
dumbing_us_down [2015/06/27 17:05] (current)
will [IV]
Line 1: Line 1:
-"​Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling",​ [[wp>​John Taylor Gatto]], [[wp>​2005]] (first ed. [[wp>​1992]]),​ [[wp>New Society Publishers]],​ ISBN 978-0-86571-448-9+"[[wp>Dumbing Us Down]]: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling",​ [[wp>​John Taylor Gatto]], [[wp>​2005]] (first ed. [[wp>​1992]]),​ [[wp>New Society Publishers]],​ ISBN 978-0-86571-448-9
  
-//Dumbing Us Down// is a collection of five essays, often themselves based on lectures.  ​It is short and lean bookmaking ​abridgement ​relatively difficult, at least so long as the original structure is preserved --- there is some repetition ​between chapters.+//Dumbing Us Down// is a collection of five essays, often themselves based on lectures.  ​The essays weren'​t written with cohesive objective in mind, and as a result individual essays will tackle a point very conciselybut often repeat a statement that is made elsewhere. ​ A better ​abridgement ​might restructure the entire work so as to avoid this repetition, but that would be of less use to a reader that intends to use this to locate the most interesting essay or segment to read in full.
  
 The standard of citation is more what you'd expect from speeches than essays. ​ Sometimes sources are referred to broadly; specific documents are never mentioned. ​ Herein, notes have usually been included where statistical assertions have been made concerning their origin and justification. The standard of citation is more what you'd expect from speeches than essays. ​ Sometimes sources are referred to broadly; specific documents are never mentioned. ​ Herein, notes have usually been included where statistical assertions have been made concerning their origin and justification.
Line 25: Line 25:
   - **One Can't Hide**: school enables a fantastic level of surveillance coupled with the absolute denial of any right to privacy or independence. ​ This prevents children from developing the ability to be alone or to work independently. ​ It is enhanced by encouraging students to inform on one another, and on their parents. ​ It is extended beyond school hours by monopolising their time at home with homework.   - **One Can't Hide**: school enables a fantastic level of surveillance coupled with the absolute denial of any right to privacy or independence. ​ This prevents children from developing the ability to be alone or to work independently. ​ It is enhanced by encouraging students to inform on one another, and on their parents. ​ It is extended beyond school hours by monopolising their time at home with homework.
  
-These lessons, and the type of children that they produce, are reflected in various societal problems. ​ People defer uncritically to experts. ​ They have less mastery of beneficial skills, relying instead ​to experts (eg in areas like craft, cooking, construction,​ mechanical repair, etc).  They are emotionally unprepared to spend time alone. ​ They require their entertainment to be provided for them pre-packaged (especially through television). ​ They live in atrophied communities,​ that are no longer held together by the transmission of skills and knowledge from old to young and general fraternisation ​of all ages.+These lessons, and the type of children that they produce, are reflected in various societal problems. ​ People defer uncritically to experts. ​ They have less mastery of beneficial skills, relying instead ​on experts (eg in areas like craft, cooking, construction,​ mechanical repair, etc).  They are emotionally unprepared to spend time alone. ​ They require their entertainment to be provided for them pre-packaged (especially through television). ​ They live in atrophied communities,​ that are no longer held together by the transmission of skills and knowledge from old to young and general fraternisation ​between ​all ages.
  
 > [W]ithout the fearfulness,​ selfishness,​ and inexperience of children, our schools could not survive at all, nor could I as a certified schoolteacher. ​ No common school that actually dared to teach the use of critical thinking tools --- like the dialectic, the heuristic, or other devices that free minds should employ --- would last very long before being torn to pieces. ---p17 > [W]ithout the fearfulness,​ selfishness,​ and inexperience of children, our schools could not survive at all, nor could I as a certified schoolteacher. ​ No common school that actually dared to teach the use of critical thinking tools --- like the dialectic, the heuristic, or other devices that free minds should employ --- would last very long before being torn to pieces. ---p17
  
-This structure is not inevitable. ​ Historically,​ the United States became a literate society before the majority were schooled --- research indicates that literacy was probably close to one hundred per cent amongst non-slaves on the eastern seaboard at the time of the American revolution. ​ The development of compulsory schooling had a different purpose: to prepare working-class children for docile service in factories, responding to perceived socialistic threats, particularly in 1848 and 1919.  The ability of the public school system to defend and appropriate resources resulted in a gradual creep that captured the middle classes in the same system, and it is still able to convince society that all failures of education can be addressed in essentially the same way: more education and more resources for education.+This structure is not inevitable. ​ Historically,​ the United States became a literate society before the majority were schooled --- research indicates that literacy was probably close to one hundred per cent amongst non-slaves on the eastern seaboard at the time of the American revolution.((No source supplied.)) ​ The development of compulsory schooling had a different purpose: to prepare working-class children for docile service in factories, responding to perceived socialistic threats, particularly in 1848 and 1919.  The ability of the public school system to defend and appropriate resources resulted in a gradual creep that captured the middle classes in the same system, and it is still able to convince society that all failures of education can be addressed in essentially the same way: more education and more resources for education.
  
 > All of these [seven] lessons are prime training for permanent underclasses[.] ---p16 > All of these [seven] lessons are prime training for permanent underclasses[.] ---p16
Line 57: Line 57:
 > Two institutions at present control our children'​s lives: television and schooling, in that order. ---p25 > Two institutions at present control our children'​s lives: television and schooling, in that order. ---p25
  
-^Activity ​              ^ Time (hours) ​   ^^  +^Activity ​              ​^ ​ Time (hours) ​   ^^  
-|weekly total           | 168             || +|weekly total           ​| ​ 168             || 
-|of which: ​                              ​||| +|of which: ​                               ||| 
-|sleep ​                 | 56              || +|sleep ​                 |  56              || 
-|television ​            | 55              || +|television ​            ​| ​ 55              || 
-|school ​                | 30      | 45     ​+|school ​                ​| ​ 30      |  45    
-|preparation and travel | 8       | :::    +|preparation and travel |  8       ​| ​ :::   ​
-|homework ​              | 7       | :::    +|homework ​              ​| ​ 7       ​| ​ :::   ​
-|eating ​                | 3               || +|eating ​                ​| ​ 3               || 
-|**remaining time** ​    | **9**           ||+|**remaining time** ​    ​| ​ **9**           ||
  
 These dominant influences create dependency and there is no remaining time to enable children to learn any degree of self-reliance. These dominant influences create dependency and there is no remaining time to enable children to learn any degree of self-reliance.
Line 135: Line 135:
 ===== IV  ===== ===== IV  =====
  
-Institutions invariably protect their own interests over and above the goals for which they are created. ​ Educational institutions are no exception.+Institutions invariably protect their own interests over and above the goals for which they are created. ​ Educational institutions are no exception. ​
  
 > It was this philistine potential --- that teaching the young //for pay// would inevitably expand into an institution for the protection of teachers, not students --- that made Socrates condemn the Sophists so strongly long ago in ancient Greece. > It was this philistine potential --- that teaching the young //for pay// would inevitably expand into an institution for the protection of teachers, not students --- that made Socrates condemn the Sophists so strongly long ago in ancient Greece.
Line 193: Line 193:
 > The predicament of women is a little trickier to see, but if sharply accelerated rates of suicide, heart disease, emotional illness, sterility, and other pathological conditions are an indicator, the admission of women //en masse// to the unisex workplace is not an unmixed blessing... > The predicament of women is a little trickier to see, but if sharply accelerated rates of suicide, heart disease, emotional illness, sterility, and other pathological conditions are an indicator, the admission of women //en masse// to the unisex workplace is not an unmixed blessing...
  
-> [T]he income of working //couples// in 1990 has only slightly more purchasing power than the income of the average working man did in 1910.((According to "some disturbing evidence [that] exists"​. ​ No other citation is given for any part of this section.)) ---pp83-4, emphasis original+> [T]he income of working //couples// in 1990 has only slightly more purchasing power than the income of the average working man did in 1910.((According to "some disturbing evidence [that] exists"​. ​ No other citation is given for any part of this section.)) ---pp83--4, emphasis original
  
 Centralised authority has also failed to control the abuse of drugs, alcohol and pornography. Centralised authority has also failed to control the abuse of drugs, alcohol and pornography.
dumbing_us_down.1323971892.txt.gz · Last modified: 2011/12/15 12:00 (external edit)