I came across a mind-blowing article Why Schools Don’t Educate by John Taylor Gatto in the excellent Sun Magazine (no relation to Murdoch’s UK gutter paper). This should be required reading for all parents and teachers. Actually, everybody should read it!

Gatto is not hitting on schools from an academic perspective. He is very much a part of the system he criticises so eloquently. The article consists of the text of a speech given upon being named New York City’s Teacher of the Year for 1989.

In his introductory comments he says:

“I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my twenty-nine years of teaching — that schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes, or politicians in civics classes, or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”

He goes on to catalogue the failings of the school system. His wake up  call 21 years ago fell on deaf ears since nothing has changed; if anything things have got worse.

More about Gatto’s writing can be found on the website : Challenging the myths of modern schooling.

In this video Gatto talks about how the brainwashing of school kids works: