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Against School

By Beata-Gubernat Apr 15, 2015 567 Words
Beata Gubernat
16 April y

Against School
John Taylor Gatto

The main subject in John Taylor Gatto’s essay is the schooling system and all it’s weaknesses. He argues that, the real objective of mandatory schooling is not according received wisdom to make good people and citizens, but to reduce individuality, put down dissent and originality just in order to make populace manageable. Taylor Gatto provides number of arguments in favour of his thesis.

Essay is coherently and consistently written. Points follow in logical sequence. At first he recalled memories connected with school from his childhood, then asked provocative question whether we really need school and through the rest of the text is trying to convince us-that not really. He is supporting his point of view by giving examples of successful, well educated people, who did not attend public schools, quoting uncomplimentary opinions about schooling of some esteemed historians, philosophers and psychologists and also illuminating that our educational system origins from military state of Prussia, what certainly it is not the best recommendation.

At first blush, plurality and diversity of John Gatto’s sources of information can make an impression, but upon a closer examination we can come to the conclusion, that his fountains are not excessively reliable. Article is mostly based on author’s personal opinion and quotations. The presence of some scientific data would significantly enhance credibility of the essay.

Although, author put a great effort to be reserved, it is not entirely possible due to the fact, that he devoted all his life to schooling. We can sense the bitterness in his tone, because he would like to change a lot of things in his beloved field, but the society appear to be completely indifferent to appeals. It is hard to decide, whether that kind of parlance is good or not.On the one hand, it may help to get attention of the recipients on the other one emotional tone can be consider far-fetched.

Without a doubt, we can conclude that author’s education and profession have an impact on his opinion. John Taylor Gatto, over a long years spent in school, as a student and then a teacher had a possibility to get to know the ins and outs of schooling system. In all likelihood, if he wouldn’t become a pedagogue, his afterthoughts on education will be throughly different.

Author’s first-hand knowledge is undoubtedly the strongest asset of the article. J.T Gatto is not an ignorant talking about things he know nothing of. He is a recognised authority figure with wide range of experience.

One-dimensional perspective seems to be the weakest point of the article. Gatto is so focused on the schooling system’s drawbacks, that does not take a note of its positive aspects. He suggests that public schools are not necessary, and the children should be rather home schooled by their parents. However, we cannot forget that school it’s not only the place where pupils are gaining knowledge, it’s also- and perhaps above all place where they learn how to function in society, deal with various problems and solve issues with their peers. Kids isolated at homes are very often social misfits. Another disadvantage of the essay is lack of any scientific data supporting Gatto’s thesis, that mandatory schooling has unwholesome influence on students personality. He just quotes other people opinions and we cannot settle the question whether they are right or no.

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