Customer Reviews for

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
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(14)

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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

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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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2003

    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 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.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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