Customer Reviews for

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Profoundly changed how I educate my child

I am already a practitioner and proponent of homeschooling, but until I read this book I did not realize I was simply repeating at home the very same educational approaches I disliked in the 'official' school system. This book forced me to evaluate what I was teaching a...
I am already a practitioner and proponent of homeschooling, but until I read this book I did not realize I was simply repeating at home the very same educational approaches I disliked in the 'official' school system. This book forced me to evaluate what I was teaching and how. Highly recommended.

posted by Anonymous on January 1, 2004

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

It would be nice to think that Gatto has stumbled onto some revolutionary theories in his book, that he has uncovered some greater truth that must be understood and accepted, but the reality is, he has not. I have just finished twelve years of public schooling and have...
It would be nice to think that Gatto has stumbled onto some revolutionary theories in his book, that he has uncovered some greater truth that must be understood and accepted, but the reality is, he has not. I have just finished twelve years of public schooling and have all along realized there were some very big problems with the schooling system. These problems are mostly due to the fact that teachers expect children to conform to meet their wishes and any student who does not is wrong. If I were to meet a man on the street who approached me and said, 'Hi, Andrew. My name is Mike. Everything I believe is right, and if you disagree with me you are wrong and a failure,' I would not want much to do with him. Still, however, we continue to send our children into this environment. While Gatto does briefly touch on this problem, he is more concerned with himself than anything else. Gatto must frequently remind the reader that he has been a teacher in the New York school system for thirty years and that he has won numerous awards for teaching, as if that makes him some sort of expert on the subject of education. As far as I can see, Gatto is a self-righteous dillitante who verges on rambling fool quite often. Gatto seems to think that school is some sort of conspiracy and that he is a Freedom Fighter (tm) who will, from inside the system, tell the truth. To back up this 'truth,' Gatto uses obscure historical references and hardly relevant examples. He also feels the need to employ an inflated vocabularity and superfluous verbosity to manipulate the reader into assuming him credulous. My advice: stay away from this book unless you want to see what sort of 'professionals' are teaching your children. Public schooling still functions and, as I see it, always will.

posted by Anonymous on June 15, 2003

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 review with 1 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    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  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 review with 1 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1