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Mini-Documentary - "Classrooms of the Heart"

Discussion in 'Education news' started by indusant, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    After reading Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto I came across this mini documentary. Gatto has taught for nearly 30 years in schools in the US. He thinks highly of education, but not of schools:

    'School is like starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. I teach school and win awards doing it. I should know.' - from 'The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher'. This can be found here: http://www.cantrip.org/gatto.html

    The video is a little dated, but much of the content is still relevant today. Well worth a watch.

  2. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    What a great teacher - of the "old school" variety ... and the fact he is sceptical of schooling actually gives him so much more credibility and power.

    Salient points
    1)kids need time to themselves to find themselves
    2)Kids benefit from lots of positive life experiences
    3)reading, writing and arithmetic are the essential basics and they need to test these basics for themselves in the real world, not in endless classroom tasks
    4)national exams are just for locking people out of success and labelling a whole layer of people as useless failures
    indusant likes this.
  3. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    Thanks for your post, Eureka! I would add:

    - 'Education' and 'schooling' are NOT the same thing. 'Schooling' works to suppress real education, which is ultimately self knowledge. 'Schooling' is a kind of conditioning process in which both critical thinking and asking the 'big questions' in life are not encouraged.

    - Community service and helping others is a valuable use of time that helps to provide meaning in life. I do think that a lot of modern culture is incredibly narcissistic and schools play their part in indulging this. More could be done to promote helping others both within the school and in the wider community (and not as a punishment).

    It's all about putting the child truly at the centre of their education. Something that is at odds with the obsession with data and 'evidence' today.

    Incidentally, I've just finished another of Gatto's books, entitled Weapons of Mass Instruction. I don't agree with everything he says, and his style can be quite verbose. But the main points hit home hard. Highly recommended.
    Eureka! likes this.

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