Gatto’s Seven Lessons

John Gatto’s Dumping Us Down illustrates the negative aspects compulsory state-controlled schooling. Gatto spent 30 years as a schoolteacher and certainly knew everything there is to know about school. He is certainly a credible source and his account should serve as motivation and reason for change and evolution. He talks about how the educational system teaches the students seven negative lessons calling himself the seven-lesson schoolteacher. After going through a fine explanation of every one of the seven lessons, Gatto asserts that the system produces confused, cruel, passive, violent, and materialistic kids.

In our modern world, large centralized institutions dominate our economies. Everything is standardized; individuality is fading away. This also applies to our schooling system. Students across the country learn the same curriculum using the same methods. No longer shrines of knowledge and invention, schools are becoming like factories that basically insert useless knowledge into kids. Every education philosopher and expert would be disappointed in the quality of education that has been present in public schools during the past decades. Students and teachers alike are no longer having original thoughts and ideas but merely follow the curriculum and rules set by the central power.

The educational process should be a personal journey of discovery and realization, and that journey should be different for every person. However, to be able to provide personalized care for every student, more funding is needed. In addition, teachers should be passionate about education and teaching because it takes a huge effort to look after every student individually rather than just teaching a predetermined lesson to the entire class. Education should not be treated as an industry; it is a crucial field to any nation’s hope for progress and prosperity but requires a lot of funding and care.

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