6 Founding Functions of School


John Gatto went in search of the original business plan of the modern schooling we have today. Which led him to The principles of secondary education by Alexander James Inglis in 1918.

The reading is quite dry, so here are the 6 functions in my interpretation:

1) Establish fixed habits of listening to authority.

2) Conform everyone to be as similar as possible. People who conform are predictable and great for large corporations.

3) Diagnose and create a record of each students test results as a permanent record of their intelligence/memory.

4) Teach people according to their scores. Once their social role has been “diagnosed” children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits – and not one step further. So much for making kids their personal best.

5) Tag the unfit clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior. This is horrible and where many have had a humiliating situation at school.

6) Look to turn certain students into managers of the “obedient” using the same system in order that government and corporations proceed unchallenged.

It’s clear that the current school system wasn’t created for you to become a leaders or critical thinker. It was created for you to become a cog in the wheel.

As a father of a five year old – who seems to have no choice but to have his daughter enter the first grade of this crippling fast-food school system, it makes me upset. As jobs continue to be automated, the future will need more creative leaders. Not to mention humanity will be dependent on creative leaders. Leaders who are willing to step outside the box. Our future is sitting in classrooms right now.

The current system trains children to be employees and consumers. We need to teach children to become leaders and explorers – the skills that the current system is suppressing.

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