I don’t know how many of you are John Taylor Gatto fans. His work fascinates and disturbs me. I was re-reading his “Why Schools Don’t Educate” speech from 1990, and just wanted to share this quote for your consideration. It causes me to re-evaluate the difference between schooling and education, and to carefully consider which I’m providing for my children.
I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools anytime soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what is rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the school institution “schools” very well, but it does not “educate” – that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent, it’s just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing.
Schools were designed by Horace Mann and Barnard Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.