hese essays are required reading for parents concerned about their child’s education. Jon Taylor Gatto gives some insights into the “dumbing down” of America. Hamza Yusuf Hanson delves into the spiritual reasons for an education, Nabila Hanson speaks to the traditional wisdom of delaying formal education, and Dorothy Sayers, concisely and humorously, describes the classical education children used to receive in this country.
John Taylor Gatto (born December 15, 1935) is an American author and former school teacher with nearly 30 years of experience in the classroom. He devoted much of his energy to his teaching career, then, following his resignation, authored several books on modern education, criticizing its ideology, history, and consequences. He is best known for the underground classic “Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling”, and his magnum opus “The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher’s Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling”.
He was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991.
He worked as a writer and held several odd jobs before borrowing his roommate’s license to investigate teaching. Gatto also ran for the New York State Senate, 29th District in 1985 and 1988 as a member of the Conservative Party of New York against incumbent David Paterson. He was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. In 1991, he wrote a letter announcing his retirement, titled I Quit, I Think, to the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, saying that he no longer wished to “hurt kids to make a living.” He then began a public speaking and writing career, and has received several awards from libertarian organizations, including the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for Excellence in Advancement of Educational Freedom in 1997.
He promotes homeschooling, and specifically unschooling and open source learning. Wade A. Carpenter, associate professor of education at Berry College, has called his books “scathing” and “one-sided and hyperbolic, [but] not inaccurate” and describes himself as in agreement with Gatto.
Gatto is currently working on a 3-part documentary about compulsory schooling, titled The Fourth Purpose. He says he was inspired by Ken Burns’s Civil War.
In 2011 he had two major strokes and received hundreds of messages of support from friends and fans worldwide. He suffered financial hardship since his medical insurance did not cover all his medical bills for rehabilitation. The stroke occurred after he completed the filming of “The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto” which was released in early 2012 by Tragedy and Hope Communications.
Hamza Yusuf (born 1960) is an American Muslim scholar, and is co-founder of Zaytuna College. He is a proponent of classical learning in Islam and has promoted Islamic sciences and classical teaching methodologies throughout the world.
He is an advisor to the Centre for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.He also serves as a member of the board of advisors of George Russell’s One Nation, a national philanthropic initiative that promotes pluralism and inclusion in America. In addition, he serves as vice-president for the Global Centre for Guidance and Renewal, which was founded and is currently presided over by Abdallah bin Bayyah.
He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding. The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom reported that “Hamza Yusuf is arguably the west’s most influential Islamic scholar.”Similarly, The New Yorker magazine reported that Yusuf is “perhaps the most influential Islamic scholar in the Western world”.
Nabila Hanson is the founder and director of Kinza Academy. Although she graduated from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, earning a Master’s degree, she quit her practice after several years so she could stay home with her children. During this period she was introduced to the works of John Taylor Gatto and realized that education had suffered the same fate as medicine. Understanding that her greater calling was in the area of traditional education she began focusing her attention on educating other parents about the benefits of homeschooling. Her time is now dedicated to promoting alternatives to modern schooling with an emphasis on homeschooling and publishing non-textbook curricula that honors the traditional approach to the raising and educating of children. Ms. Hanson resides in Northern California with her two home schooled children.
Author: John Taylor Gatto, Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Nabila Hanson, Dorothy Sayers
Publisher: Kinza Press
Year Published: 2003
Length: 7.0 in
Width: 5.0 in
Height: 1.0 in