Gatto: The 6 Purposes of the Modern SCHOOL

It really has very little to do with teaching, learning, or education.  This is a lesson I gave my 12th graders in public speaking class.  At least 3 of them were red pilled.  No lie.


What does the school do with the children? John Taylor Gatto states the following assertions in “Dumbing Us Down”: It makes the children confused. It presents an incoherent ensemble of information that the child needs to memorize to stay in school. Apart from the tests and trials that programming is similar to the television.

  1. It fills almost all the “free” time of children. One sees and hears something, only to forget it again. 
  2. It teaches them to accept their class affiliation. 
  3. It makes them indifferent. It makes them emotionally dependent. 
  4. It makes them intellectually dependent. 
  5. It teaches them a kind of self-confidence that requires constant confirmation by experts (provisional self-esteem). 
  6. It makes it clear to them that they cannot hide, because they are always supervised

Go through John Taylor Gatto’s presentation, and let me know, in writing, what you think. By informing you what his research on the history of American Schooling showed, does he ‘connect the dots’ for you about your experience in school? Explain how effective this presentation was, and why.


From the transcript of another video, if you want to explore further:

“Two years it took me to find a copy of the book [Principles of Secondary Education by Alexander James Inglis]–750 pages, tiny print and as dull as your imagination can be. And furthermore, it is not till you get to the very middle of the book–in an unlabelled section–that he spills the beans. Let me spill them for you.  

There are 6 purposes, or functions, as he calls them. The first he [Alexander Inglis] calls the Adjustive Function: Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. That’s their main purpose–habits and reactions to authority. That is why school authorities don’t tear their hair out when somebody exposes that the Atomic Bomb wasn’t dropped on Korea, as a history book in the 1990s printed by Scott Foresman [did], and why each of these books has hundreds of substantive errors. Learning isn’t the reason the texts are distributed.  

So, first is the Adjustive Function–fixed habits. Now here comes the wonderful insight that being able to analyze the detail will give you. How can you establish whether someone has successfully developed this Automatic Reaction because people have a proclivity when they are given sensible orders to follow. That is not what they want to reach. The only way you can measure this is to give stupid orders and people automatically follow those. Now you have achieved Function #1.  

Have you ever ever wondered why some of the foolish things that schools do or allow to continue? [Function] #2, he [Inglis] calls it the Integrating Function, but it is easier to understand if you call it the Conformity Function. It’s to make children alike as possible–the gifted children and the stupid–alike as possible because market research uses statistical sampling, and it only works if people react generally the same way.  

The Third Function he calls the Directive Function: School is to diagnose your proper social role and then log the evidence that here is where you are on the Great Pyramid, so that future people won’t allow you to escape that compartment.  

The Fourth Function is the Differentiating Function. Because once you have diagnosed the kids in this layer, you do not want them to learn (5 min, 32 min) anything that the higher layers are learning. So you teach just as far as the requirement of that layer.  

Number 5 and 6 are the creepiest of all!  Number 5 is the Selective Function. What that means is what Darwin meant by natural selection: You are assessing the breeding quality of each individual kid. You’re doing it structurally because school teachers don’t know this is happening. And you’re trying to use ways to prevent the poor stuff from breeding. And those ways are hanging labels–humiliating labels–around their neck, encouraging the shallowness of thinking.

I often wondered, because I came from a very very strict Scotish-Irish culture that never allowed you to leer at a girl. But when I got to NYC, the boys were pawing the girls openly and there was no redress for the girls at all, except not showing up in the classroom–high absentee rates. Well, you are supposed to teach structurally that sexual pleasure is what you withdraw from a relationship and everything else is a waste of time and expensive.  

So, the Selective Function is what Darwin meant by the favored races. The idea is to consciously improve the breeding stock. Schools are meant to tag the unfit with their inferiority by poor grades, remedial placement, and humiliation, so that their peers will accept them as inferior. And the good breeding stock among the females will reject them as possible partners.  

And the Sixth is the creepiest of all! And I think it is partly what Tragedy and Hope is about–a fancy Roman name, the Propaedeutic Function. Because as early as Roman bigtime thinkers, it was understood that to continue a social form required that some people be trained that they were the custodians of this. So, some small fraction of the kids are being ready to take over the project.

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