Gatto vs Professor X

Topics: Education, High school, School Pages: 4 (1180 words) Published: December 12, 2012
John Gatto believes that mandatory schooling does wrong by prolonging childhood, and Professor X claims that students are unprepared for college, and 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 Gatto uses historical references to support his claim that schools stifle independence.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 were founded on the basis that with a large Prussian influence in American culture, an educational system was founded with the goal of rendering citizens less capable. Gatto witnesses this in the first of Ingis's purposes, titled “the adjustive/adaptive function.” The adjustive function describes how schools are designed to teach students to properly react to authority. If school is meant to preoare students for “the real world” this would imply that school is preparing students merely to be subservient employees, rather than independent entrepreneurs.

Schools also create a hierarchy between the students and teachers, discouraging any meaningful relationships from taking place. This hierarchy continues to thrive among the students themselves, a concept coined “the selective function.” From grades to standardized testing, schools are a prime example of natural selection - encouraging those deemed most capable while leaving the rest behind.

To sum up Inglis’s functions would be to say that mandatory education is soley for the purpose of turning children into cooperative, obedient members of the American labor force. Those whonprove themselves worthy and rise above are become the next generation’s caretakers (the propaedeutic function), continuing the tradition of dumbing down our nation’s youth.

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