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How Public Education Cripples Our Kids And Why

by John Taylor Gatto - 2008

I taught for thirty years in some of the worst schools in Manhat- tan, and in some of the best, and during that time I became an expert in boredom. Boredom was everywhere in my world, and if you asked the kids, as I often did, why they felt so bored, they always gave the same answers: They said the work was stupid, that it made no sense, that they already knew it. They said they wanted to be doing some- thing real, not just sitting around. They said teachers didn’t seem to know much about their subjects and clearly weren’t interested in learning more. And the kids were right: their teachers were every bit as bored as they were.

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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 107, No. 2.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 110 Number 14, 2008, p. 136-140
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22857, Date Accessed: 8/13/2020 8:30:58 AM

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About the Author
  • John Taylor Gatto
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    John Gatto spent 30 years teaching in New York City’s public school system. He was awarded both the city Teacher of the Year and state Teacher of the Year titles in different years. Since his retirement, Gatto has worked to promote homeschooling and “unschool- ing” as alternatives to compulsory education. The unabridged version of this essay appeared in Harper’s magazine. Copyright © 2003 by Harper’s Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduced from the September issue by special permission.
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