John Taylor Gatto page

 (Most of these articles originally appeared in

SKOLE, the Journal of Alternative Education)
The Fourth Purpose: this new enterprise of both John and his Odysseus Group is so spectacularly Gattoesque as to defy alphabetization by me - and so has to come first! Click on the title to go to their website.
Here's the scoop. Ever since his "retirement" from teaching in the public schools, John has captained and inspired his private army (The Odysseus Group) as he has continued his historical research into the origins of our stultifying educational system and poured out his golden eloquence before groups all over the US - and finally, in his blockbuster bookThe Underground History of American Education (see review below).
His Odysseus Group, a 501(c)(3), has now begun production of a major film called "The Fourth Purpose," which they describe as "a three-part documentary series which uses humor and confrontation as 'Bowling for Columbine' did but with the scope of a Ken Burns film." They are inviting us to help in that production by sending them contributions or investing in their enterprise as venture capitalists! How can one refuse?

As a "major and enthusiastic platform" for this venture, Harper's Magazine is featuring John's article "How Public Education Cripples our Kids and Why" as its cover story in the September, 2003 issue! (See link*below.) You may reach them at or 212-239-4757.  

Absolute Absolution, The Forgiveness of Original Sin by Ministers of Government Schooling  

A Different Kind of Teacher
Confederacy of Dunces: The Tyranny of Compulsory Schooling
Nine Assumptions of Schooling, and Twenty-one Facts the Institution Would Rather Not Discuss  
*Against School : How Public Education Cripples our Kids, and Why: a Harper's article for September, 2003 - also announcing John's new film, "The Fourth Purpose" 
The Psychopathic School
We Need Less School, not More
Dumbing Us Down
Review: Dumbing Us Down, by Ron Miller, from the Summer issue of Holistic Education Review for 1992, reprinted in the Winter, 1993 issue of SKOLE.
 Response to Miller's review: by John Taylor Gatto, from the Winter issue of Holistic Education Review for 1992, reprinted in the Winter, 1993 issue of SKOLE
The Exhausted School, introduction to John's 1992 Carnegie Hall program and book:
Preface, by Pat Farenga
 Three Rules for this Evening's Class: by Victor Gonzalez
How Did We Ever Come to Believe that the State Should Tell our Children What to Think? - by John Taylor Gatto
How to get an Education at Home, by Pat Farenga, Growing Without Schooling
School For a Post-Industrial Society, Sudbury Valley School, by Dan Greenberg
In the Belly of the Dragon, The Hawthorne Valley School, by Kathleen Young Remembering, by Roland Legiardi Laura, Former Student, The Lab School
Breaking the Rules, by Barbara Jill "B.J." Cummings, Former Student, The Lab School
My Life As a Troublemaker, by Jamaal M. Watson, Student, The Lab SchoolThe Healthy Side of Exhaustion - The Alternative Community School of Ithaca, by Dave Lehman
Learning Flows Naturally - The Free School, a Multi-generational Learning Community, by Mary Leue
The Problem of Schooling - closing remarks by John Taylor Gatto 
Institutional Schooling Must be Destroyed - an essay sent to George magazine 
A Map, a Mirror and a Wristwatch - exactly what is wrong with schooling, and what REAL education consists of! A blockbuster of an article. 
The Moral Logic of Perpetual Evolution, A Schoolteacher Looks at technology in Education 
 Mudsill Theory, the Lancaster Amish and Jaime Escalante 
Personal Solutions, Family Solutions - "God made us human beings, not human doings!"
Radical Democracyand our Future - A Call To Action - The Dialectics of Liberty 
Some Lessons from the Underground History of American Education -
a marvelous summary of John's many years of research and critical analysis which appears in a book edited by Russ Kick entitled Everything you Know is Wrong (2002) - which I highly recommend!

Some Thoughts on the National Socialization of Children - a polemical diatribe 

To the Berkshire Eagle - an educational history lesson 
To The Sun about Friedrich Froebel - response to a shocked reader - and a link to a response to John's fax from Scott Bultman, director of The Froebel Foundation
Three additional pieces: 
Review: The Empty Child, (predecessor to The Underground History of American Education), by Mary M. Leue, from the January, 2000, issue of Paths of Learning.
Letter to the editor - by Ken Lebensold, in the Summer issue of SKOLE, 1993 - commentary on the exchange between Miller and Gatto
SLUTA SKOLAN! (Abolish School!) - A DVD of a classical interview with John Taylor Gatto by Swedish activist-educator Lennart Mogren. Also two interviews with Swedish homeshoolers and one with a school reformer, all of which Lennart has promised to translate on demand. Available from the Down-to-Earth bookstore.