Charlotte Iserbyt – The Secret History of Western Education [Full Documentary]

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 26, 2017

In the following video, Charlotte Iserbyt speaks at length about the real history of public education and its ties to systemic corruption within the public schooling system.  As a former Senior Policy Adviser for the Office Of Educational Research & Improvement during the Reagan Administration, she was in the heart of the beast, and as so, knew the system well.  Her words should be ruminated upon seriously.  For further research, Charlotte Iserbyt’s book, The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America, gets at the heart of the matter.

Charlotte Iserbyt also became a whistleblower about the  major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America’s classrooms.

While working there she discovered a long term strategic plan by the tax exempt foundations to transform America from a nation of rugged individualists and problem solvers to a country of servile, brainwashed minions who simply regurgitate whatever they’re told.

This is a must see for anyone who wants to truly know why the education system is deliberately crafted to produce human drones with no critical thinking whose only skills are to be subservient, trust authority and follow orders.

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Common Core Crisis [Part 6] – The Seven Lesson School Teacher

conformity2
TheBreakaway
| BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 20, 2017

Continuing on our series in which we are taking an increasingly widening glance into the true nature of public schooling, what follows will be a snippet of the information covered in Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto.

Gatto has come out speaking at length about many of the pervasive and troubling issues that young [and future] generations have to contend with, and the information which proceeds will shed light into how this has come to be.

Within the curriculum of public schooling, Gatto states the following lessons are “universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood Hills  They constitute a national curriculum you pay for in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what it is.”[1]

Gatto, in his own words states public schooling teaches:

#1: Confusion[2]

Throughout his books, Gatto has touched upon how confusion is installed into the minds of the young – thorough the fragmentation of education.  This fragmenting of education and teaching things out of context is what’s responsible for the inculcation of what is unnatural to the mind, which only cover superficial narratives and never anything of substance.

School doesn’t teach things that are in perfect harmony with each other – a natural order.  This issue prevents kids, who turn into adults, from connecting the dots, from synthesizing information.  And this goes to explain how people cannot understand how two separate issues such as Genetically Modified Foods [that continue to be banned in dozens of countries] could ever be connected with health issues.  That’s just the beginning, though.

#2:  Class Position[3]

Class position leads to an acquiescence to conformity ideals, even though in life people of all ages, types, creeds and religions connect and interact with people from all over the spectrum.  There’s no hindering structure of conformity anywhere in nature.  This takes place only in public schooling and sections of society.

As Gatto notes:

“If I do my job well, the kids can’t even imagine themselves somewhere else because I’ve shown them how to envy and fear the better classes and how to have contempt for the dumb classes.  Under this efficient discipline the class mostly polices itself into good marching order.  That’s the real lesson of any rigged competition like school.  You come to know your place.”[4]

And then people wonder where the seeds of division are sewn.    If that were it, that would be bad enough, but school also teaches…

#3:  Indifference [5]

This is accomplished by the way subjects are taught by mere cursory glances instead of an in depth approach.  This further pulverizes possible education into fragments of disciplines and knowledge, rather than building a robust set of ideas that can help the individual connect dots see what matters.  As Gatto notes:

“…[students] must turn own and off like a light switch.  Nothing important is finished in class nor in any class I know of.  Students never have a complete experience except on the installment plan.”[6]

When you only experience slivers of knowledge, how can complete pictures of life ever be grasped?  How can one come to a meaningful understanding to the depth that life harbors?  One cannot.  Such instances lead to nothing of importance ever being learned, which of course naturally leads to the pervasive indifference part of society has been indoctrinated with.

#4:  Emotional Dependency [7]

Gatto intimates that:

“Rights may be granted or withheld by any authority without appeal, because rights do not exist inside a school – not even the right to free speech, as the Supreme Court has ruled – unless school authorities say they do.”[8]

If children can depend on themselves, who can they ‘depend’ on?  The high priests of education of public schooling, predictably.

#5:  Intellectual Dependency [9]

This issue is best encapsulated by the following statement:

“Good students wait for a teacher to tell them what to do.  This is the most important lesson of them all; we must wait for other people, better trained than ourselves, to make the meanings of our lives.  The expert makes all the important choices; Only I, the teacher, can determine what my kids must study, or rather, only the people who pay me can make those decisions, which I then reinforce.”[10]

This couples into mindless consumption, which the system is build upon.  Gatto minces no words:

“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that ten entire economy depends upon this lesson being learned.”[11]

What else could one expect when dependency is taught at the outset, and people learn to are indoctrinated to seek experts and not think for themselves?

Most importantly:

“We’ve build a way of life that depends on people doing what they are told because they don’t know how to tell themselves what to do.  It’s one of the biggest lessons I teach.”[12]

#6:  Provisional Self Esteem[13]

Simply stated:

“A monthly report, impressive in its provision, is sent into a student’s home to elicit approval or mark exactly, down to a single percentage point, how dissatisfied with the child a parent should be.  The ecology of “Good” schooling depends on perpetuating dissatisfaction, just as the commercial economy depends on the same fertilizer…the cumulative weight of these objective-seeming documents establishes a profile that compels children to arrive at certain decisions about themselves and their future based on the casual judgment of strangers.   Self-evaluation, the staple of every major philosophical system that ever appeared on the planet, is never considered a factor.  The lesson of report cards, grades, and tests is that children should not trust themselves or their parents but should instead rely on the evaluation of certified officials.  People need to be told what they are worth.”[14]

Unfortunately, much of society echoes this without a second thought down to the letter.

#7:  You Can’t Hide[15]

In school children are taught that there is no privacy, and you are under constant surveillance.  Personal independence and self sufficiency have no place in school.

“I teach students that they are always watched, that each is under constant surveillance by me and my colleagues.  There are no private spaces for children; there is no private time…Students are encouraged to tattle on each other or even to tattle on their parents.  Of course, I encourage parents to file reports about their child’s waywardness too.”[16] If that’s not a system that breeds a SpyCulture – the very one we’re seeing right now – I don’t know what is.

Moreover:

“The meaning of constant surveillance and denial of privacy is that no one can be trusted, that privacy is not legitimate.”[17]

Once pondered, the above statements reverberate deep into the psyche.  Such are the seeds from which much of the pervasive issues society is dealing with stem from.  The lack of respect for privacy, dependence on the government, materialism, empty concept of the future, lack of critical skills, the conformity crisis, class distinction, and more, all have the inception within the nascent stages of public schooling.

This coalescence of societal issues cannot change unless that which casts the foundation – public schooling – changes.  And Public Schooling has never shown any meaningful changes coming from the inside, which is why individuals need to learn to become self-directed learners and autodidacts in order to be better prepared for the world that we live in.

The world that we live in has much more to offer than what we are taught it does.  Even so, a limited understanding off an individual’s ability will only yield a limited point of view in life, like seeing life with perpetual tunnel vision.

Only by breaking away from that marginalized reality will the individual see life for what it is, and only by asserting your power will you be able to control your path.

Then and only then can true unbounded freedom and education be had.

___________________________________________________________
Footnotes:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Public Schooling, p. 1.
[2] Ibid., p. 2.
[3] Ibid., p. 4.
[4] Ibid., pp. 4-5.
[5] Ibid., p. 5.
[6] Ibid., p. 6.
[7] Ibid., p. 6.
[8] Ibid., p. 6.
[9] Ibid., p. 7.
[10] Ibid., p. 7.
[11] Ibid., p. 8.
[12] Ibid., p. 9.
[14] Ibid., pp. 9-10.
[15] ibid., p. 10.
[16] Ibid., p. 10.
[17] Ibid., p. 11.
___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

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Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:

13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
Socratic Logic V3.1
by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi
Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

2016 Breakaway Books Of The Year

BooksOfTheYear2016
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 8, 2017

A recent conversation with a close friend helped spawn this particular recommendation.  Following salient questions from my friend on what the best books of 2016 might be, the possibilities left me ruminating upon the answers.

Having reviewed 75+ books in 2016, it took a while to narrow down which ones were candidates for the best book in my opinion.  Each and every book had something to offer, although admittedly there were a handful which were quite a letdown.

Although most books reviewed here had something to offer, what follow are the best books considering the topics they cover.

The following books center around health and education.  These are the two most important topics considering they affect everyone.  Without both, we have nothing, and when both are had, the foundation for a better living is at least set.

Book#1:  A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression & How Women Can Heal Their Bodies To Reclaim Their Lives by Dr. Kelly Brogan [Review Here]

Why is this book important?  Because depression affects more than 30 million people within the United States and even more around the world.  What’s more, the information within this book has the potential to help millions if employed.

Having known a few people with depression, one of which was due to a vitamin deficiency, this topic is very near and dear to my heart.  Such information regarding a vitamin deficiency as the cause of depression will never make it out of the bowels of Big Pharma, after all, since such a simple solution wouldn’t make money. The book is  chock-full of insightful information that would help anyone with health issues, but especially those with depression.

In similar fashion to Dr. Peter Breggin’s Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Brogan not only absolutely eviscerates the depression is a “chemical imbalance” theory, but she also takes it one step further.  Dr. Brogan states that Depression is not a disease, it’s a SYMPTOM.  Following that very thread, if you treat a symptom, you can NEVER cure a disease, and maybe that’s the point.  By not having to address the core issue of depression, the pharmaceutical companies literally have 30 million people [and growing] to use as cashcows.  That’s quite a disturbing prospect.

The author buttresses her book with over 100 medical references that rip apart much of the nonsense Big Pharma expounds regarding psychiatric medication.

This book would supplement anyone’s library rather well.

Book#2:  Rotten To The (Common) Core:  Public Schooling, Standardized Tests & The Surveillance State by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Laurence [Review Here]

Public schooling within America continues to torpedo down the hill, with nigh no end in sight.  Not only does common core continue to consistently create epic failures as the United States features some of the worst public schooling statistics in the world, but the consortium continues to push method, rather than content.  But that’s not the most disturbing part.

In Rotten To The Common Core, Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Laurence both lay out concrete evidence that in disturbing ways the public schooling system couples directly to CIA MK-Ultra.  The authors touch lightly upon that, while also noting the disturbing implications of the growing Artificial Intelligence that’s going to be seen more and more in the future.

This book is pregnant with implications, and if you have children, or are in any way shape or form concerned about the future, you might want to take a gander at this.  A dumbed down future society is a troublesome prospect already.  But one that has been possibly molded by CIA MK Ultra Mind control, that’s also tied to the surveillance grid, and couples into Artificial Intelligence?  It almost seems like the script for a Hollywood movie.  Shades of Huxley’s Brave New World fused with Orwell’s 1984 to boot.

Book#3:  Eat To Beat DiseaseFood’s Medicinal Qualities by Catherine J. Frompovich [Review Here]

Catherine Frompovich has been putting out high quality work for quite some time.  Frompovich has also written on Vaccinations, Holistic Breast Cancer treatment, and more.

Eat To Beat Disease is a book everyone can put to use.  With diseases of all types increasing out of control, it’s time for a change, and this book provides the foundation for it in spades.

In Eat To Beat Disease, Frompovich details a bevy of information for individuals to take back control of their health doing what they already do – eating.  By using food as part of a common sense regimen, individuals of all types can attain great results.  This book has also helped me personally fine-tune some of my eating habits, and am definitely glad to have read it.  It’s a great reference book as well.

The veritable plethora of information within this book not only offers quality eating advice, but also features a common sense approach to tackling some of the most common ailments.  This book is really a well rounded book, and everyone that has disease, or is struggling with health should really make it a point to read it.

Honorable Mentions:

Finance, Rogue Networks & Secret Sorcery: The Fascist International, 9/11, and Penetrated Operations
by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D [Review Here]

The above book touches upon some of the more nefarious aspects of 9/11 in a way that most 9/11 researchers had not considered, and synthesizes previous information in a manner that’s as intriguing as it is disconcerting.  Highly thought-provoking through and through, this is a must read to understand many of the issues society faces today.

Food Forensics by Mike Adams [Review Here]

Food Forensics is an essential library in understanding toxins within foods.  If you want to know why people continue to get sick, read this book.  It serves as an excellent compliment to Catherine Frompovich’s Eat To Beat Disease.

What books offered you a lot of value/knowledge?  What were some of your favorites?  Make sure to share them below, we would definitely like to hear.

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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Common Core Crisis [Part 5] – What Led To Award Winning Teacher John Taylor Gatto To Quit Public Schooling

breakaway3
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 3, 2017

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
– Aristotle

“Wherever a man desires to know, that is the place proper for his education; whenever he desires to know, that is the time proper for his instruction.”
– Socrates

The last few weeks we have begun to catalog many disturbing aspects of common core within public schooling.  Not only is American education on a catastrophic decline [see here], but as has been documented by insiders such as John Taylor Gatto, Charlotte Iserbyt, and others, that’s exactly what the system aims to do.

For those that might react in an askance manner to such statements, in previous posts [Example #1, Example #2, Example #3, Example #4] we have begun to slowly construct much of the downright nonsense individuals have to deal with within the corrupt public school system.

Continuing along the same lines, below follows a passage taken from award winning teacher John Taylor Gatto, which was shared by him in his phenomenal Underground History Of American Education.

Gatto states why he chose to resign from the corrupt system in 1991, and the troubling reasons follow below:

Gatto decided to throw in the towel in 1991, and the reasons for this follow below:

“In the first year of the last decade of the twentieth century during my thirtieth year as a school teacher in Community School District 3, Manhattan, after teaching in all five secondary schools in the district, crossing swords with one professional administration after another as they strove to rid themselves of me, after having my license suspended twice for insubordination and terminated covertly once while I was on medical leave of absence, after the City University of New York borrowed me for a five-year stint as a lecturer in the Education Department (and the faculty rating handbook published by the Student Council gave me the highest ratings in the department my last three years), after planning and bringing about the most successful permanent school fund-raiser in New York City history, after placing a single eighth-grade class into 30,000 hours of volunteer community service, after organizing and financing a student-run food cooperative, after securing over a thousand apprenticeships, directing the collection of tens of thousands of books for the construction of private student libraries, after producing four talking job dictionaries for the blind, writing two original student musicals, and launching an armada of other initiatives to reintegrate students within a larger human reality, I quit.

I was New York State Teacher of the Year when it happened. An accumulation of disgust and frustration which grew too heavy to be borne finally did me in. To test my resolve I sent a short essay to The Wall Street Journal titled “I Quit, I Think.” In it I explained my reasons for deciding to wrap it up, even though I had no savings and not the slightest idea what else I might do in my mid-fifties to pay the rent. In its entirety it read like this:

Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents. The whole blueprint of school procedure is Egyptian, not Greek or Roman. It grows from the theological idea that human value is a scarce thing, represented symbolically by the narrow peak of a pyramid.

That idea passed into American history through the Puritans. It found its “scientific” presentation in the bell curve, along which talent supposedly apportions itself by some Iron Law of Biology. It’s a religious notion, School is its church. I offer rituals to keep heresy at bay. I provide documentation to justify the heavenly pyramid.

Socrates foresaw if teaching became a formal profession, something like this would happen. Professional interest is served by making what is easy to do seem hard; by subordinating the laity to the priesthood. School is too vital a jobs-project, contract giver and protector of the social order to allow itself to be “re-formed.” It has political allies to guard its marches, that’s why reforms come and go without changing much. Even reformers can’t imagine school much different.

David learns to read at age four; Rachel, at age nine: In normal development, when both are 13, you can’t tell which one learned first—the five-year spread means nothing at all. But in school I label Rachel “learning disabled” and slow David down a bit, too. For a paycheck, I adjust David to depend on me to tell him when to go and stop. He won’t outgrow that dependency. I identify Rachel as discount merchandise, “special education” fodder. She’ll be locked in her place forever.

In 30 years of teaching kids rich and poor I almost never met a learning disabled child; hardly ever met a gifted and talented one either. Like all school categories, these are sacred myths, created by human imagination. They derive from questionable values we never examine because they preserve the temple of schooling.

That’s the secret behind short-answer tests, bells, uniform time blocks, age grading, standardization, and all the rest of the school religion punishing our nation. There isn’t a right way to become educated; there are as many ways as fingerprints. We don’t need state-certified teachers to make education happen—that probably guarantees it won’t.

How much more evidence is necessary? Good schools don’t need more money or a longer year; they need real free-market choices, variety that speaks to every need and runs risks. We don’t need a national curriculum or national testing either. Both initiatives arise from ignorance of how people learn or deliberate indifference to it. I can’t teach this way any longer. If you hear of a job where I don’t have to hurt kids to make a living, let me know. Come fall I’ll be looking for work.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Coming to terms with all of the above, can you really blame Gatto?  And to think, this took place over two decades ago.  The public schooling system has only gotten worse.

Those facts lead Gatto to speak over 750 times throughout the world in the following years to discuss the inherent issues within public schooling.  And he hasn’t stopped, thankfully.

Gatto found that individuals from all over the world were beginning to see the shadows of the system for what it was, and are were beginning to speak out, and rightly so.

The only way to avoid the conformity crisis is to breakaway from the system that makes you conform from the ground up.  Gatto and many others have spoken about this at length.

Seek to learn and teach children [and adults!] not only how to think critically [which school doesn’t teach], but how to employ logic [which modern schooling also doesn’t teach, although was taught for centuries in classical education].  Don’t allow others to make you, nor your children conform.  Strive to live life to the fullest extent, learning from moments – every single one of them, especially the bad ones – rather than by disciplines, or worse, methods. 

Life has everything you need to learn.  It only takes open eyes and an open mind to take it all in and use every day as a teaching platform as every opportunity is ruminated upon, pondered, learned from, and digested at length.

Anyone can teach another person something, and it happens on a day by day basis.

It’s just that we don’t get hammered to see those experiences as teaching.  The curious part is that, life lessons happen ALL the time, and it doesn’t take a public school system to teach that.  Not that schools teach that anyways.

Learn from every moment.

Learn from every person.

Learn from yourself.

And teach others what you have learned.

Then and only then are we going to begin creating a new system, from the ground up.

And all it takes is individuals rising up, as they have throughout history.

Don’t hold back.  Education is too important to forgo, or to leave to others.

Change starts with you.  Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.  For if we don’t take time to teach ourselves about the lessons of life, we will arrive at life’s end having learned nothing.

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Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:

Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi

The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors
_________________________________________________________
Source:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Underground History Of American Education, pp. xv-xvi.

13 Great Reasons To Study Logic

logic3
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 1, 2017

In age where the public dumbing down is reaching new lows [Read Here For More], a much more proactive approach to an individuals education is vitally needed.  This will certainly aid them in gravitating away from the crumbling education paradigm that keeps failing us, because, as John Taylor Gatto stated in A Different Kind Of Teacher [Review Here]:

Schools were designed by Horace Mann, E.L. Thorndike, and others to be instruments of scientific management of a mass populationSchools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlledTo a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

In other words, school system is about social engineering the masses, and not producing educated individuals.

Furthermore, as Professor Patrick Deneen shared in his landmark piece, How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture:

“Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings”[2][Emphasis Added]

It isn’t by accident that the school system has reached the state of decline it has.

Knowing that, what’s an individual to do?  Go back to the roots.

For this, there is no better place to go but to the realm of logic.

Why is Logic so vital?

To answer this poignant question, let’s take a look at the work of Philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D has to to say.  Kreeft, in his phenemonal book called Socratic Logic [Review Here] outlines the many reasons why logic is important to an individuals growth.

Kreeft minces no words in stating that in the past, most students were privy to was called “the old logic”.  Due to this, those individuals were much better prepared to “think, read, write, organize, and argue much better than they can today”.[3]

Getting back to classical education, which employed The Trivium – composed of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric – is what will ultimately help individuals break away from the downward avalanche public schooling is manifesting.  And Logic undoubtedly is an integral component of The Trivium.

Please ruminate at length regarding what follows.  It shows how and why logic seeps into all areas of life.

Below follow salient reasons why to study Logic:

13 Good Reason Why You Should Study Logic

1. Logic brings order.

Logic builds the mental habit of thinking in an orderly way.

No course is more practical than logic, for no matter what you are thinking about, you are thinking, and logic orders and clarifies your thinking.  No matter what your thought’s content, it will be clearer when it has a more logical form.  The principles of thinking logically can be applied to all thinking and to every field.

2.  Logic brings power.  Logic brings the power of proof and persuasion.

The power of logic comes from the fact that it is the science and art of argument.  Any power can be either rightly used or abused.  This power of logic is rightly used to win the truth and defeat error; it is wrongly used to win the argument and defeat your opponent.

3.  Logic helps reading. Logic will help you in education and learning, for “logic will help you to read any book more clearly and effectively.  And you are always going to be reading books; books are the single most effective technological invention in the history of education.

On the basis of over 40 years of full time college teaching of almost 20,000 students at 20 different schools, I am convinced that one of the reasons for the steep decline in students’ reading ability is the decline in the teaching of traditional logic.

4.  Logic helps writing.  Logic will also help you to write more clearly and effectively, for clear writing and clear thinking are a “package deal”: the presence or absence of either one brings the presence or absence of the other.  Muddled writing fosters muddled thinking, and muddled thinking fosters muddled writing.  Clear writing fosters clear thinking, and clear thinking fosters clear writing.  Common sense expects this, and scientific studies confirm it.  Writing skills have declined dramatically in the 40 years or so since symbolic logic has replaced Aristotelian logic, and I am convinced this is no coincidence.

It is simply impossible to communicate clearly and effectively without thinking clearly and effectively.  And that means logic.”

5.  Logic brings happiness.  In a small but significant way, logic can even help you attain happiness.  We all seek happiness all the time because no matter what else we seek, we seek it because we think it will be a means to happiness, or a part of happiness, either for ourselves or for those we love.  And no one seeks happiness for any other end; no one says he wants to be happy in order to be rich, or wise, or healthy.  But we seek riches, or wisdom, or health, in order to be happier.

How can logic help us attain happiness?  Here is a very logical answer to that question:

(1)  When we attain what we desire, we are happy
(2)  And whatever we desire, whether Heaven or a hamburger, it is more likely that we will attain if it we think more clearly.
(3)  And logic helps us to think more clearly.
(4)  Therefore logic helps us to be happy.

Even fantasy is not illogical.  In fact, according to the greatest master of this art, J.R.R. Tolkien, “Fantasy is a rational, not an irrational, activity…creative fantasy is founded upon a hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun; on a recognition of fact, but not a slavery to it.  So upon logic was founded the nonsense that displays itself in the tales and rhymes of Lewis Carroll.  If men really could not distinguish between frogs and men, fairy stories about frog-kings would not have arisen.”

6.  Logic helps with religious faith.  Even religion, though it goes beyond logic, cannot go against it; if it did, it would literally be unbelievable.  Some wit defined “faith” as “believing what you know isn’t true.”  But we simply cannot believe an idea to be true that we know that has been proven to be false by a valid logical proof.

It is true that faith goes beyond what can be proved by logical reasoning alone.  That is why believing in any religion is a free personal choice, and some make that choice while others do not, while logical reasoning is equally compelling for all.  However, logic can add faith in at least three ways.

First, logic can often clarify what is believed, and define it.

Second, logic can deduce the necessary consequences of the belief and apply it to difficult situations.

Third, even if logical arguments cannot prove all that faith believes, they can give firmer reasons for faith than feeling, desire, mood, fashion, family or social pressure, conformity, or inertia.

7.  Logic helps attain wisdom.  “Philosophy” means “the love of wisdom.”  Although logic alone cannot make you wise, it can help.  For logic is one of philosophy’s main instruments.  Logic is to philosophy what telescopes are to astronomy or microscopes to biology or math to physics.

8.  Democracy.  There are even crucial social and political reasons for studying logic.  As a best-selling modern logic text says, “the success of democracy depends, in the end, on the reliability of the judgments we citizens make, and hence upon our capacity and determination to weigh arguments and evidence rationally.”  As Thomas Jefferson said, “In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be lead by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reason becomes of the first importance.”[Copi & Cohen, Logic, 10th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1998.).

9.  Defining logic’s limits.  Does logic have limits?  Yes, but we need logic to recognize and definite logic’s limits.  Logic has severe limits.  We need much more than logic even in our thinking.  For instance, we need intuition, too.  But logic helps us recognize this distinction.

10.  Logic helps in testing authority.  We need authorities because no individual can discover everything autonomously  We do in fact rely on the human community, and therefore on the authority of others – parents, teachers, textbooks, “experts,” friends, history, and tradition – for a surprising large portion of what we know – perhaps up to 99%, if it can be quantified.  And that is another reason we need logic: we need to have good reasons for believing our authorities, for in the end it is you the individual who must decide which authorities to trust.

11.  Logic helps recognizing contradictions.  Logic teaches us which ideas contradict each other.  If we are confused about that, we will either be too exclusive (that is, we will think beliefs logically exclude each other when they do not) or too inclusive (that is, we will believe two things that cannot both be true).

12.  Logic brings certainty.  Logic has “outer limits”; there are many things it can’t give you.  But logic has no “inner limits”: like math, it never breaks down.  Just as 2 plus 2 are unfailingly 4, so if A is B and B is C, then A is unfailingly C, Logic is timeless and unchangeable.  It is certain.

And logic never becomes obsolete. The principles of logic are timelessly true.

13.  Logic helps one attain truth.  Logic helps us to find truth, and truth is its own end: it is worth knowing for its own sake.

Logic helps us to find truth, though it is not sufficient of itself to find truth.  It helps us especially (1) by demanding that we define our terms so that we understand what we mean, and (2) by demanding that we give good reasons, arguments, proofs.[4]

In the age of information, ignorance is no excuse.

And Logic, more than anything else, helps eviscerate that ignorance in a way that nothing else can.

That’s exactly why its been removed from the public school system, and exactly why all individuals need to employ it into their repertoire.

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Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 16.
[2] Professor Patrick Deneen, How A Generation Lost Its Culture
[3] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Socratic Logic, p. 1.
[4] Ibid., pp. 1-7.

Book Review: Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto

dumbingusdown

BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
January 11, 2017

John Taylor Gatto is an award winning teacher that isn’t afraid to buck the trend.

Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto is a masterly an in-depth view into how public schooling really works.

Sampling many of his best personal essays, Dumbing Us Down features the true reasons why education in our modern day system is failing: because it’s meant to be that way.

Gatto reinforces his main premise with a thorough examination of public schooling in America.  He carries this out rather incisively given his no holds barred approach to the matter, and this is very refreshing.

While many others have tippy toed their way around the issue, Gatto harpoons the heart of the matter with statements such as:

“…schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet.  No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes.  The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

It is absurd and anti-life to be part of the system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class.  That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does.”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

Such scathing statements leave no question to Gatto’s courageous stance, and helps the reader understand the plight we face rather cogently.

Another component of this ongoing public schooling issue is how vital the community is, and more importantly, the family unit, in helping foster a healthier, more independent, more curious, and ultimately more self-sufficient individuals through proper education.  While this might seem obvious in hindsight, it isn’t being employed that much at all in our modern environs.

Throughout the length of the book, Gatto fiercely touches upon the many different factors that have helped cause this growing dilemma.  Some of these include the overwhelming amount of television being watched by society in general, and more specifically by children, while other components have to deal with the inherent designs of schooling such as the fragmentation of education, the removal of the family from an individual’s education, the poor life tenets individuals are taught, and much more.

One of the best parts of the book is what Gatto calls ‘The 7-Lesson School Teacher’, where the author shows what teachers are truly expected to inculcate into students.  Once read, this particular lesson to the reader might seem facetious, but it’s really not.  When one views what Gatto is stating with an open mind –  while keeping cognizance of the fact that he worked decades for the system – then one completely gets to be aware of why failure in schooling isn’t the exception, but the rule.

In fact, more specifically, Gatto gets at the heart of why public schooling is destined to fail:

Mass education cannot work to produce a fair society because its daily practice  is practice in rigged competition, suppression and intimidation.  The schools we’ve allowed to develop can’t work to teach nonmaterial values, the values which give meaning to everyone’s life, rich or poor, because the structure of schooling is held together by a Byzantine tapestry of reward and threat, of carrots and sticks.  Official favor, grades, and other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom.”[69][Bold Emphasis Added]

Gatto has unbounded a phenomenal book in the field of public schooling and more importantly, what true education should encompass.  Please keep in mind, schooling and education are not the same thing.  Particularly, this differentiation and what each means is one of the main gems of this book.

To finalize, this book is a veritable fountain of information that is intense in precision and thought-provoking in its implications given that they filter into all aspects of our lives, and ultimately seep into the future.  This is why it’s vitally important for individuals to become autodidacts, and help others become so through our interactions with our families and communities.  Self-teaching is more important now than ever, especially with the deteriorating effects of public schooling.

Because of all the reasons mentioned above, and myriad more, this book is definitely a must read for everyone.

As the author saliently notes:

“Aristotle saw, a long time ago, that fully participating in a complex range of human affairs was the only way to become fully human…”[47][Bold Emphasis Added]

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Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, pg. 21.
[2] Ibid., pg. 23.
[3] Ibid., pg. 24.
[4] Ibid., pg. 69.
[5] Ibid., pg. 47.