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Dumbing Us Down

The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


With over 70,000 copies of the first edition in print, this radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers’ bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years in New York City’s public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine. This second edition describes the wide-spread impact of the book and Gatto’s "guerrilla teaching."

John Gatto has been a teacher for 30 years and is a recipient of the New York State Teacher of the Year award. His other titles include A Different Kind of Teacher (Berkeley Hills Books, 2001) and The Underground History of American Education (Oxford Village Press, 2000).

Customer Reviews

Mental Anti-Virus Tech for the mind and soul.

John Taylor Gatto is a brave and courageous man , a 1st class teacher and historian of public education. "Dumbing Us Down", and "Weapons of Mass Instruction" will fill in every gap you've ever had in understanding what really happens in a classroom.


Mr. Gatto's critique of centralized, mandatory schooling is stinging. His thesis (that schools too effectively effect their original goal), disturbing.

On the one hand, I wish he had spent more time defending his alternative to our school system. On the other, American society so blindly accepts this system that we might need a whole book convince us that we could be wrong.

I'm not sure Mr. Gatto's thesis is correct. I realize now, however, that it deserves much thought, and even debate. Accepting any premise without question creates the possibility of misplaced confidence. At worst, after reading this book, one will think more about education, society, and family. There are much worse fates.

Dumbing Us Down
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Education
  • Published: Feb 01, 2002
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 144 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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