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Cheryl Floyd

Too Cool for Schools? Things NOT to do?

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I came across this article that credits one of my favorite educators, John Taylor Gatto with the following information:

  1. “Keep children under surveillance every minute from dawn to dusk. Give no private space or time. Fill time with collective activities. Record behavior quantitatively.”
  2. “Addict the young to machinery and electronic displays. Teach that these are desirable to recreation and learning both.”
  3. “Remove as much private ritual as possible from young lives, such as the rituals of food preparation and family dining.”
  4. “Grade, evaluate, and assess children constantly and publicly. Begin early. Make sure everyone knows his or her rank.”
  5. “Honor the highly graded. Keep grading and real world accomplishment as strictly separate as possible so that a false meritocracy, dependent on the support of authority to continue, is created. Push the most independent kids to the margin; do not tolerate real argument.”
  6. “Forbid the efficient transmission of useful knowledge, such as how to build a house, repair a car, make a dress.”
  7. “Remove all significant functions from home and family life except its role as dormitory and casual companionship. Make parents unpaid agents of the State; recruit them into partnerships to monitor the conformity of children to an official agenda.”

7 Ways Schools Are Creating Empty Children


What do you think? Do you use grades to rank your child's educational work or progress? Why or why not? Do you allow your children to have some private time or unstructured play time? How much is too much? How much is too little? How do you find ways to "transmit useful knowledge" such as cooking, building, sewing, fixing things? Do you sit often to a meal together, or how do you protect and cultivate family functions, times, and traditions? We do NOT eat at the table any more. For no real reason. Lord have mercy. We eat at various spots in the kitchen or ::GASP:: in front of the TV watching a show together. :(

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On 4/20/2019 at 7:01 AM, Patrick Halbrook said:

This is a great list..it reminds me of Anthony Esolen's really good book, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (https://isibooks.org/ten-ways-to-destroy-the-imagination-of-your-child-2188.html).

OH yes, I loved that book too. Prof. (Dr.?) Esolen strikes a great tone and makes some beautiful points with his satire. He also uses personal experiences, anecdotes, and research to exemplify his assessment that as a culture we really don't like children. 

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Oh my... this was primarily one of the reasons we chose to homeschool--especially points 3 and 4. Although my eldest child did excellent work, I got caught up with pushing excellence and the public acknowledgment. It was beginning to becoming an obsession. One graduate of the school where my son attended offered me her perspective. She said that students were suffering from IBS and anxiety starting in 9th grade. The pressure was killing them--sobbing over getting a GPA of 4.2. She opened my eyes to the sickness that has slowly crept into our home. My son was exhibiting anxiety behaviors. We were all co-conspirators in killing wonder, worship and wisdom (that Dr. Perrin spoke of in his lecture). I am thankful for these lectures & forums as I seek to find a love for learning again in our home & in all our lives. 

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