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Most Helpful Favorable Review
8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.
Profoundly changed how I educate my child
posted by Anonymous on January 1, 2004Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
There are more inherent problems with Gatto than with our school system
posted by Anonymous on June 15, 2003Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2003
Foreward and Introduction Review
I am writing this review as I read the book so that you will get an idea of the ideology behind this book. My first experience with ¿Dumbing Us Down¿ was the four pages of praise from various sources such as Home Education Magazine, Holistic Education Review and The Albany Free School. I had just watched Fox News do a segment on The Albany Free School through their BreakingPoint program entitled ¿The Education Crisis in America¿. One quote from this broadcast: ¿We don¿t place a value judgment between reading and a hike. In our world they are equal.¿ In the foreward of this book, I read the words ¿hard-headed bureaucracy¿ which seemed to grab my attention as I have experienced this brutal force. Further reading consisted of Thomas Moore¿s most enjoyable teaching experience ¿no textbook, no syllabus and no purpose¿ (Gatto, xiv). I agree that many textbooks are not appealing to students nor do they exhibit the qualities of high-order learning yet to hold education as something that ¿picks up on whatever appeared in the room on any particular day¿ does not seem in the best interest for the students (maybe during family time or in the community). However, it does stress the need for a connection to real-life experiences to make learning meaningful and there is also a value placed on community, but the comparisons of school as a jail, confinement, a cell, vampire network are unprofessional even if his experiences with education were such. We need to take the emotionalism out education reform, so in reading just the foreward I have learned that Gatto¿s book seeks to ¿start [schools] from the ground up¿educate the soul, not just the mind¿creatively, friendships, love, community. The foreward ends with concern for violence in schools and ¿the sorry level of discourse in America¿by the desperate ineffectiveness of schools¿ (xvi). An introduction is written by Gatto¿s editor who seems to follow along with the writer of the foreward by comparing schools to ¿One Flew Over the Cuckoo¿s Nest¿ by stating ¿bound by a web of rules, procedures, and protocols¿which stands an iron fist of violence and repression, all designed of course for ¿the patient¿s own good¿ (Gatto, xvvii). The point is that schools have become institutions that condition and conquer their ¿patients¿ towards compliance. The editor continues to state that ¿schools are not failing¿set up to ensure a docile, malleable workforce to meet¿corporate capitalism¿physically, intellectually, and emotionally dependent upon corporate institutions for their incomes, self-esteem, and stimulation, and that will learn to find social meaning in their lives solely in the production and consumption of goods'(xxii). This is just the first part of the book.
1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.