Top-Rated Free Essay

Summary of 'Against School' by John Taylor Gatto

Good Essays
Chido Mexicano

English 1301

09/10/2011

“Against School” Essay #1 (summary)

In “Against School” by John Taylor Gatto, he bonds boredom, the common condition of having low energy, to schools in the U.S. schooling system. Gatto was a teacher in Manhattan where he taught for thirty years. He retired from teaching in 1991. During his journey as a teacher he was named New York Teacher of the Year for three consecutive years (1989-1991), and honored as New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. In this short story, “Against School”, Gatto tells his experiences with students that complained they were bored in school. Gatto said these students were not interested in what was being taught because they often said the work was stupid and that they already knew it. According to Gatto, these students were interested only in grades rather than learning the subject.

Gatto asks if our school system is designed to make sure children never really grow up, and if we really need forced schooling. He compares our school system to Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately made to produce mediocre intellects. Gatto states that in this country people sees “success” as synonymous with “schooling”. He articulates that important people like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln never went through the twelve-year schooling system we have now and they still succeeded. Gatto said that according to our cultural traditions schools were made to make good people, good citizens, and each person their personal best.

Gatto brings out Alexander Inglis’s six basic functions of modern schooling, which are;

➢ The adjustive or adapting function; its goal is to establish fixed habits among students.

➢ The integrating function; its intention is to make children as alike as possible.

➢ The diagnostic and directive function; it was meant to determine student’s social role.

➢ The differentiating function; its idea is to sort children by role and trained them only as far as their social position merits.

➢ The selective function; its purpose is to tag the unfit so clearly that their peers will know he/she is inferior.

➢ The propaedeutic function; this function objective is to teach a small portion of this kids how to manage the five functions stated before.

Gatto agrees to Inglis’ statement of our public education system and said that, unfortunately, this is the purpose of public education in this country.

Gatto also agrees with Ellwood P. Cubberley book, public administration, where Cubberley said that schools are factories in which children are to be shaped and fashioned, and the school’s business is to build its students according the program. Gatto supports Cubberley statement by saying that schools train children to be employees and consumers and also to obey reflexively. John Taylor Gatto encourages us to teach our offspring to think critically, to be leaders and adventurers. Finally Gatto bears us up to wake up and see what our schools really are; drill centers that teach the common habits and attitudes in our society, and that school’s real purpose is to turn pupils into servants of this world. John T. Gatto thinks the solution to this matter is to let people manage themselves.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    Summary 3: “Against School” In the essay “Against School” the author John Taylor, Gatto claims boredom has made a big impact in schooling systems all around the United States not only in Manhattan, New York. Gatto believes that boredom affects the capability of ones education and also states that boredom is a common condition not only in students but also in schoolteachers. Gatto is against schools all together, saying that our school system is to blame, a school system not designed by the United…

    • 374 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Against schools

    • 1358 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Against School The article Against Schools is a very intriguing article or could case great debate and concern about public schooling systems in America today. Born in Monongahela, Pa, John Taylor Gatto is a retired America school teacher with nearly 30 years of experience in the school system. Gatto is a recipient of many awards such as: The New York City Teacher of the Year award in 1989,1990, and 1991 and The New York State Teacher of the Year award in 1991. He is broadminded perilous of compulsory…

    • 1358 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Against School

    • 1114 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Larza v. Board of Education “Against School” is an essay that argues the true effectiveness of the current public school system, and how it affects children later in the real world. John Gatto, a teacher of 30 years in the Manhattan school system and winner of many prestigious teaching awards, discusses how high school was just a breeding ground for boredom. The boredom not only affects the children, but also the teachers. Gatto believes that the children in the school should be able to manage themselves…

    • 1114 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Two Opposite Perspectives of School In the article named “Report of the Massachusetts Board of Education” by Horace Mann, the author explains that school is an integral step to prepare for students to be aware of the responsibilities of becoming good citizens. On the other hand, the text “Against Schools” by John Taylor Gatto emphasizes that the role of the school system is not necessary in society since it forces students to go to school and sit around in classes for a certain amount of hours for…

    • 1165 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Against School

    • 785 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Against School John Taylor Gatto Against School is an article that represents the writer’s view and his experience in the American schooling system .This articles were written by John Taylor Gatto. He is an American teacher who spends thirty years in good and bad schools in Manhattan. He found out that boredom was his specialty as teacher. Also he was not the only one who was bored as an instructor and if we ask the teachers about their boredom they will blame kids. Whereas kids blame…

    • 785 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Against School

    • 567 Words
    • 2 Pages

    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…

    • 567 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    questions whether some should be admitted. Gatto uses historical references to support his claim that schools stifle independence. Professor X doesn’t think everyone is qualified for a college level curriculum. John Gatto is the last one would expect to be a retired school teacher, as he preaches the flawed ways of the public school system to anyone who will listen. In his 2003 essay, Against School, Gatto interprets six ideas from Alexander Inglis’s Principles of Secondary Education. These concepts…

    • 1173 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The author of “Against School” John Taylor Gatto believes that during his long career in public schools he didn’t realise that schools are playing any major role in modification of “raw” children except making them childish adults. And the key problem behind the outcome is boredom, it occurs because scholars feel confined in 12 years of “imprisonment”. Gatto thinks that schools can increase the chances of success for their students if they let them make own decisions and take risks when necessary…

    • 459 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    En 101 Essay 2 When it comes to the traditional education, John Taylor Gatto’s “Against School” questions whether we really need the nine month, drawn out, traditional curriculum. Gatto goes on to name several successful people through history that were not products of a contemporary school system. When I think of Gatto’s theory of forced schooling, a friend of mine named John Smith who goes by the alias of Viper comes to mind. Viper is in his late 20’s, lives in South Philadelphia…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Against School essay

    • 1116 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Rhetoric and Composition 1020 18 September 2012 Ask any student in public high school what they like and dislike about school. Odds are, they will say that what they enjoy most about school is the social interactions it allows them to take part in, and what they dislike about school is the classes. John Taylor Gatto, in “Against School: How Public Education Cripples our Kids, and Why,” discusses the reasons for such boredom in an in depth manner. Most of the time, nowadays, it is not the amount…

    • 1116 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays