Against School Analysis

309 WordsNov 26, 20122 Pages
The essay Against School was written by John Taylor Gatto. It first appeared in Harper’s magazine in 2009. Gatto taught for thirty years in some of the worst Manhattan schools. He gets down to the nitty gritty to shed light on his disdain for how the modern day school system is set up. Gatto’s long, and successful, career within the American education system serves as more than enough evidence to confirm the credibility and accuracy of his opinions. His career is another indicator of his love for educating young people. Gatto doesn’t believe in forcing students to learn on a strict schedule (i.e: six classes a day, five days a week, nine months a year, for 12 years). He bonds boredom, a common condition possessed by not only students but teachers as well, to schools in the U.S school system. Many of his students said they weren’t interested in what was being taught because it was stupid and they already knew the material. Gatto doesn’t place blame on any one party but places the blame on everyone. With this essay Gatto intends to get the proverbial wheels turning inside the readers mind by giving them a look into his own view of the educational world. He uses a host of examples to support his ideals. First, Gatto refers to a lesson his grandfather taught him at the ripe age of 7; his grandpa declared that if Gatto was bored that it was his fault and no one else’s. This cured him of boredom forever. John talks about this episode with his grandpa because he wants to try to get the reader to connect with him on a personal level. Then he goes on to say “Often I had to defy custom, and even bend the law, to help kids break out of this trap”

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