Here again John Taylor Gatto in his famous storytelling style shows that how forced schooling seduces the trapped into believing us that inert knowledge, memorized fact bits and sequences is the gold standard of intellectual achievements. Learning to connect those bits into meanings for oneself is always discouraged. He further demonstrates that this habit training is a major Weapon of Mass Instruction and the harm school inflicts is rational and deliberate.
This book is filled with many real life examples of people who escaped the trap of compulsory schooling at the same age when we were once, sitting at our school desks, copying notes from a blackboard, getting yelled at. Weapons of Mass Instruction shows us that realization of personal potential requires a different way of growing up and growing competent, one which Gatto calls “open-source learning,’’ which is of much higher quality than rule-driven, one-size-fits-all schooling.
JOHN TAYLOR GATTO has taught for over 30 years in public schools and is recipient of New York City Teacher of the Year Award and New York State Teacher of the Year. He is much sought after speaker on Education. Recently he has started Bartleby Project to peacefully refuse to take standardized tests or to participate in any preparation of these tests by simply writing, “I would prefer not to take your test.’’ His other books are A Different Kind of Teacher, The Underground History of American Education and Dumbing Us Down (Banyan Tree).