The writings of John Taylor Gatto, a retired professional teacher and prolific author, never fail to offer deep social enlightenment and their hands-on educational insight. His “A Conspiracy Against Ourselves” is such an article.
A Conspiracy Against Ourselves
by John Taylor Gatto
“A lower middle class which has received secondary or even university education without being given any corresponding outlet for its trained abilities was the backbone of the twentieth century Fascist Party in Italy and the National Socialist Party in Germany. The demoniac driving force which carried Mussolini and Hitler to power was generated out of this proletariat’s exasperation at finding its painful efforts at self-improvement were not sufficient.” –Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History
Two Social Revolutions Become One
Solve this problem and school will heal itself: Children know that schooling is not fair, not honest, not driven by integrity. They know they are devalued in classes and grades, that the institution is indifferent to them as individuals. The rhetoric of caring contradicts what school procedure and content says, that many children have no tolerable future and most have a sharply proscribed one. The problem is structural. School has been built to serve a society of associations: corporations, institutions, and agencies. Kids know this instinctively. How should they feel about it? How should we?