John Taylor Gatto's Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of traditional education which cripple imagination, discourage critical thinking, and create a false view of learning as a byproduct of rote-memorization drills. Gatto's earlier book, Dumbing Us Down, introduced the now-famous expression of the title into the common vernacular. Weapons of Mass Instruction adds another chilling metaphor to the brief against conventional schooling.
Gatto demonstrates that the harm school inflicts is rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy, he argues, is to render the common population manageable. To that end, young people must be conditioned to rely upon experts, to remain divided from natural alliances and to accept disconnections from their own lived experiences. They must at all costs be discouraged from developing self-reliance and independence.
Escaping this trap requires a strategy Gatto calls "open source learning" which imposes no artificial divisions between learning and life. Through this alternative approach our children can avoid being indoctrinated-only then can they achieve self-knowledge, good judgment, and courage.
"John Taylor Gatto has been a hero of mine for years. He has the courage to challenge an education system that is obsolete and out of touch with reality. Years ago, he gave me the courage to speak out and write my books. I trust this book will give you the courage to speak out." (Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
"For over 20 years John Taylor Gatto has been working tirelessly to teach us the truth about our education system - that compulsory schooling does not work to foster a democratic way of life!" (Mary Leue, Founder of the Albany Free School)
"All of Gatto's words shine. Let's have Gatto as US Secretary of Education and then, this time, he can blow it all up!" (George Meegan, author of The Longest Walk and world record holder, longest unbroken march in human history)
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