John Taylor Gatto Audio – Extended Childhood

John Gatto – Extended Childhood

I discovered an audio file recently that is one of the very best files I’ve ever listened to for explaining what has been intentionally done to our education system to dumb it down and transform our children from independent thinkers to preparing them for Pavlovian behavior in an industrial world.

John Taylor Gatto was selected as the New York City teacher of the year THREE times. He finally quit his job during the year he’d been selected for the third time by announcing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that he was no longer willing to hurt children.

I cannot stress enough the magnitude of this audio file. It is one of the most riveting stories I’ve ever listened to and tremendously vital in understanding today’s current education climate and who the players are that have sought to take down the original entrepreneurial spirit of our country. It was apparently given in 2001 to the LDS Homeschooler’s Association.

I obtained the audio from this site which has a lot of great quotes on freedom and various topics, but I’m posting the audio here as a convenience if you want to listen to it in a podcast player.

John’s website is and he has written a number of popular books
on this topic.

7 Responses to “John Taylor Gatto Audio – Extended Childhood”

  • Bryan:

    Am I to understand, then, that your group subscribes to all of the philosophies of John Taylor Gatto? I mean, you have posted his material on your website. You must believe that he stands for what you stand for. So, your agenda becomes clear. You, like Gatto, believe in “unschooling” (abolishing all formal education and allowing natural education through life's experiences). You, like Gatto, believe that public schools (and the teachers they employ) are consciously and purposefully attempting to keep children stupid and naive so that they will grow up to be obedient, slack-jawed consumers who are easily manipulated and controlled. You, like Gatto, believe that schools set out to crush the minds of our children and force them to be incapable of independent thought. Is all of that true? If it is, I would like to offer some tangible evidence that you and Gatto are ridiculously radical, offensive, hyperbolic, and just plain wrong. If you don't agree with everything Gatto says, I urge you to remove any references and quotes from your website so as to avoid being accused of subscribing fully to his agenda.

    Also, if I remember correctly, didn't Gatto originally “borrow” his roommate's teaching license to begin his teaching career? How honest. The guy's a great role model.

  • Hi Bryan,

    Have you listened to the audio? I hope so. My research during the years Alpine quit teaching the times tables and long division to children led me to discover some of the same things Mr. Gatto discusses in his audio file. I'm not researched enough to know if it's all 100% true, but it's a very enlightening talk.

    FYI, my children are in public schools in the Alpine school district. They've had some great teachers and they've had some not so great teachers.

  • Bryan:

    So, wait a minute, are you saying that someone could post something on their website or use a quote from someone's philosophy and NOT buy in to every part of that person's philosophy? So it's possible that ASD doesn't subscribe to Goodlad's socialist and humanist agenda just because they use a quote from Goodlad? Wow. I never thought of that, did you?

    I'm glad to hear that your kids have had some great teachers. I know there are some not-so-great ones, too. How many raving humanist or atheist teachers have they had? Do you honestly feel that your children are being turned into mindless workforce drones and consumers by their schools?

    You seem like a very nice person. I'm sure you're a good dad and a model citizen, but it really does seem like your group is pushing an unstated ultimate agenda here.

  • Bryan, the only “agenda” I have ever pushed is exactly what is on the petition page. We want a correct teaching of our constitutional form of government. A similar thing happened a few years ago when Alpine School District used Investigations math and removed teaching the times tables and long division from the classrooms. I petitioned and built public support to reinstate these basic math facts and switch the math program. Things are better now for teaching basic facts, but they're still advocating constructivism in their teacher training when it's been shown to be a flawed method for transmitting knowledge, and no studies exist to support it.

    For example, here is a link to information from Project Follow-Through

    Here is a link to a study that shows constructivism has no studies to support it

    And here is a link to the results of a GRAMA request I filed with Alpine School District to see if they had ANY studies to support these math programs since they kept telling people “all the studies support them.” They provided me with NO studies. They have none, yet tell the public they have them.

    So as far as agendas go, I'm just a concerned citizen.

  • Bryan:

    Your earlier rhetoric says something very different. When you publish blogs with titles like “What Social Democracy Means to Utah County Educators” and then proceed to explain how socialist and poisoned you feel the well of ASD is, you lump all educators together. From what you've said here, your problem would really only apply to the social sciences and the teachers and content creators in that area. Math teachers don't teach anything about government. English, performing and visual arts, physical education, family and consumer sciences, physical science, CTE, and the rest of the vast majority of the district (including administrators, counselors, maintenance, transportation, technology, and etc) don't teach government at all. Every time you say something about Alpine School District, you are talking about all of those people. Look at your media coverage. I read your rebuttal to the recent DH article, but the article is what the public reads. You have, intentionally or not, effectively accused every employee of ASD in an apparent McCarthyist witch hunt against socialism, atheism, and humanism. Oh, I almost forgot that you lumped in the whole organization of BYU as well. I applaud concerned parents who try to make changes for the good of their children’s education. I certainly don't applaud the wonton character assassination of thousands of good, very hard working men and women (who are, for the most part, also concerned citizens). If your problem lies with the social science teaching core, you should address that problem. Can you demonstrate where the social science core is teaching false information about our government other than your strange problem with the word “democracy”? If you can, lobby for change without making sweeping generalizations and promoting dark conspiracy theories.

    If I could, I'd like to make a point about the terrible consequences of the “d” word on the education of a child. Democracy comes from the Greek roots “demo” (meaning “people”) and “cracy” (meaning “government”). ANY government of the people, by the people, and for the people is a democracy. There are many forms of democracy. The form the founders of our great nation chose is a democratic republic. A republic is a democracy, not the other way around. To call a republic a democracy is as correct as to call a rose a flower. It's just less specific. Any child who is asked to identify our form of government could correctly answer “democracy” or, more specifically, answer “republic” and be correct either way. “A rose by any other name,” you know. If a child answers the former, are they now any more likely to be socialist (or likely to sympathize with socialist viewpoints) as a child who answers the latter? I think not.

    The word in ASD’s quote you should be concerned with is “social” from the Latin roots “socialis” (meaning “united” or “living together”) and the earlier “socius” (meaning “companion”). I agree that it would be a terrible thing for ASD to want their students educated enough that they would be able to live together united in a government of, by, and for the people. Scandalous.

    I don't mean to be nastily sarcastic here. I am just trying to make a point about how your rhetoric comes across to educated people without a predisposition to be angry with the public schools or against certain vocabulary. Regardless of your claimed lack of an anti-school agenda, the recent article in the Herald is how people will see your cause. The fact that you like what Gatto has to say enough to post and promote it here seems to belie your goodwill toward education. How much media attention did you seek to praise the “great teachers” your children had? How many letters to the newspaper have you ever written about something ASD has done well? How many times have people rallied to board meetings to congratulate the district for top-level AP scores or high college acceptance and scholarship rates? If your focus truly is the social sciences, you desperately need to get on message. If that's your fight, stick to it. You won't get the sensational headlines, but you will make folks like me want to support your efforts.

  • Bryan, first of all, if you are one of the teachers in the district trying to do your best as you know it, my hats off to you. I don't mean any offense to you or any teacher. I need you to step back just a moment and realize, none of what I started had anything to do with Alpine School District. It was to petition the state office to change 5 standards to recognize we are a Republic and to replace language about a “living constitution” with language about the proper way to amend the constitution. If you haven't taken the time to read the petition page, please do so. Then please try to realize that the very rapid pace of events in Alpine the last couple months (which I at first just reported on as an example of where a set of events showed a pattern from a teacher in the district, to the district office, to the mission statement, to a radical) has been a challenge to keep up with. There are teachers in this district that understand what a true Democracy is and they do keep espousing it to children. Then there are others that use the word because that's what they've heard as our form of government but they don't know the difference between it and a Republic. I don't fault those teachers at all. Then there are those that understand what a Republic is and have tried to teach the constitution in spite of some of the pressures they've received. I've had 3 teachers in this category contact me the last couple weeks and they feel frustrated.

    Second, it wasn't too many years ago when I had very similar thoughts to what form of government we have. I thought we lived in a Democracy. The first video on the home page illustrates this problem as I interviewed a number of people. A few years ago I had to start reconciling statements from our Founding Fathers with what I'd always believed. Where they collided, I had to reexamine my belief structure. What I came to realize was, yes, we are a Republic. We have a democratic process for determining who will represent us, but that can also be said to be a republican process because a republic elects representatives as well through a voting process.

    I also had to recognize that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the *Republic* for which it stands…

    I also had to realize that neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mention the word democracy, but the Constitution guarantees every state a “republican” form of government (art. 4, sec. 4). It may seem to some like I'm just fixated on the word Republic but that's not really true. I'm just trying to educate people so we don't forget what it is our Framers gave us in the constitution. It was for a reason.

    I also had to reconcile myself to statements like these:

    Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide. – John Adams

    A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. – Thomas Jefferson

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. – Thomas Jefferson

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. – Benjamin Franklin

    Democracy is the most vile form of government… democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. – James Madison

    As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. – Abraham Lincoln

    Obviously the Framers felt there was a big difference between “democracy” and what they were giving us as a form of government. Since you didn't give this latin root in your lesson to me, republic is “the public matter.”

    I can understand how people suddenly despise me for last Sunday's article in the Herald. However, it seems like you've missed reading my rebuttal (posted on this site). It is really unfortunate when the press so completely malign a person's words (even when they were written down) as to turn a great part of the people against you for things you never said. I never said BYU or ASD were involved in a conspiracy. My whole letter was about exposing John Goodlad and the only connections I drew in the article was to point out it's one of his phrases hanging in ASD's professional development building (“Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy”). I also pointed out he came to BYU in 1983 to set up the public school partnerships. Aside from that, there was nothing else in the letter I provided the Herald.

    Also, that post title you're so upset about at the beginning of your comment actually says, “Daily Herald: What Social Democracy Means to Utah Teachers” and it was the title of THEIR article, not mine. I would never presume to say what social democracy means to the teachers. It's the job of the press to read minds and then publish it. :)


    P.S. I'm not a “follower” of Ron Paul, but this is an excellent article he wrote:

  • John Taylor Gatto:

    Remember that the issue is compulsory schooling.

    Make public schools optional and the problem would be solved in 10 years flat.