Thinking and Writing Research 1304
4 Febuary 2013
In the article “Dumbing us down: Weapons of Mass Destruction” John Taylor Gatto explains how today’s education system needs to be changed to focusing more on children’s interests instead of an institutionalized curriculum. He wants to revolutionize the school system to something similar to his education in a small town called Monongahela, Pennsylvania. When he went to school he was taught through classical schooling, which trained him to develop independent thinking and the appreciation for great old books before his time. In his small town of 4500 numerous important people have been brought up there including: Joe Montana, the founder of the Disney channel and the inventor of the nerf football. He thinks perhaps the success of these people is related to how they were brought up in school getting a hands on experience by cooking there own school meals, handling the daily school maintenance. He questions how college admission such as Harvard put such a big emphasis on standardized test. Gatto thinks that the education system was founded through a strict military system in Germany to keep the lower and middle classes grounded so leaders could keep capitalism running. During his time as a teacher he talks about how he wanted his students to get hands on experiences. For example one of his classmates was interested in comic book art so he sent her to watch a comic book artist for a week. The last part of the article talks about a way to stand up to the current education system by using Mellville’s moran genius in Bartleby, the scrivener. This is a way to peacefully refuse to go by the current system and simply reject it by getting large groups to not take the tests that schools hand out. Although John Gatto has some very intriguing information I, strongly disagree with his article. He never gives a reasonable way to fix our curriculum, but can only hope...
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