Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Underground History of American Education

The Underground History of American Education, by John Gatto is a must read for anyone who has or will have children going through school and for all teachers. John Gatto, who was a long-time public school teacher, who was given the award of New York's Teacher of the Year, has done extensive research to the roots behind our "failing" public school system.

Personally, I as a child loathed school. I felt it a prison and escaped daily, drifting away in day dreams while the teacher droned away about something I had no interest in. It was only when I went through my Waldorf Teacher Training and subsequently when I became a Waldorf teacher that I found that education can be a fulfilling experience for both student and teacher alike. In comparing my experience in teaching in Waldorf education and hearing the experiences of teachers teaching in the public system I could not teach in the public school system and have felt that what the children was subjected to was criminal, for instance, this new push to have kindergarten children have less and less free play so they can focus on academics to prepare them for 1st grade. This book has laid it out clearly in horrifying details as why it is criminal and to the intentions behind this compulsory education.

"We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks." --President Woodrow Wilson

Look at what we have created: a society where its citizens predominantly go through years and years of a boring and pretty much worthless education that does not teach citizens how to think and question, how to love and make their world more beautiful, how to work with their hands and do meaningful work. Then when the schooling ends most likely these citizens will land a job where there is no security and more meaningless work is done until the citizen's only reward for this heartless occupation are diminishing wages to consume gadgets and unhealthy food that only brings suffering to the earth and no relief to the void in their souls. Society, thanks to the likes of Carnegie, Ford, Morgan, Rockefeller, has become a social factory of consumers, with an elite at the head of the pyramid. And our President, who has promised hope for change, wants our children to stay in school until dinner time and to increase the days out of the year our children are subjected to state indoctrination.

Wake up! people, and protect our children from living a senseless existence.