Image: front cover Buy Print Book Now
  •  CDN $16.95 
  •  USD $16.95 


Buy Ebook Now
  •  CDN $16.95     CDN $11.00
  •  USD $16.95     USD $11.00

Paperback – 240 pages
6 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 400 Grams
BISAC: EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865716698
Pub. Date: 2010-04-01

About the Author

John Gatto

John Gatto was a schoolteacher for 30 years. He resigned in the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times upon receiving the New York State Teacher of the Year award. He has been a fierce advocate for self-directed "guerrilla" education for decades, and is also the author of Weapons of Mass Instruction and The Underground History of American Education.

view author profile

Weapons of Mass Instruction

A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

by John Gatto



John Taylor Gatto's Weapons of Mass Instruction, now available in paperback, focuses on mechanisms of traditional education which cripple imagination, discourage critical thinking, and create a false view of learning as a byproduct of rote-memorization drills. Gatto's earlier book, Dumbing Us Down, introduced the now-famous expression of the title into the common vernacular. Weapons of Mass Instruction adds another chilling metaphor to the brief against conventional schooling.

Gatto demonstrates that the harm school inflicts is rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy, he argues, is to render the common population manageable. To that end, young people must be conditioned to rely upon experts, to remain divided from natural alliances and to accept disconnections from their own lived experiences. They must at all costs be discouraged from developing self-reliance and independence.

Escaping this trap requires a strategy Gatto calls "open source learning" which imposes no artificial divisions between learning and life. Through this alternative approach our children can avoid being indoctrinated-only then can they achieve self-knowledge, good judgment, and courage.

You might also enjoy

The Big Book of Nature Activities

The Big Book of Nature Activities

A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning

The average child can identify over 300 corporate logos, but only 10 native plants or animals—a telling indictment of our modern disconnection from …

view title info
Teaching Green

Teaching Green

The Middle Years

For anyone working with young people in grades 6-8 -- whether inside or outside schools -- Teaching Green contains over 50 of the best activities and …

view title info
Freedom to Learn

Freedom to Learn

Creating a Classroom Where Every Child Thrives

Disinterested students and behavioral problems are all too common in schools. Yet results show that behavior charts and other reward-and-punishment …

view title info
Cracking the Boy Code

Cracking the Boy Code

How to Understand and Talk with Boys

All too quickly, talkative, affectionate young boys seem to slip away. Adolescents may be transformed overnight into reclusive, seemingly …

view title info
Educating for Action

Educating for Action

Strategies to Ignite Social Justice

The pursuit of freedom and justice is a timeless effort, but new activists may not know where to begin, while more experienced ones often become …

view title info

New Society Publishers have decided to sell their ebooks without copy protection or DRM (Digital Rights Management) so that customers can enjoy full use of their ebook purchase. In return we expect our customers to respect this decision.

By clicking in the box below, you agree that you will:

  • NOT make illegal or unauthorized copies of our ebooks.
  • ONLY make copies of our ebooks for backup purposes.
  • NOT sell or give copies of our ebooks to family, friends, associates, etc., or upload to any file-sharing sites.
I agree to the above terms and conditions
Our ebooks are available in PDF or EPUB format.
Please choose the correct format for your device.
Buy PDF Version Buy EPUB Version