John Taylor Gatto – Unschooling Hero

John Taylor Gatto is an American author and former school teacher who was born in December 15, 1935. He taught for nearly 30 years before he resigned and authored several books criticizing the ideology, history, and consequences of modern education. He is best known for the “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”.
Gatto was born in the Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He attended public schools within Pittsburgh Metro Area. He did his undergraduate work at Cornell University and Columbia University. He served in the U.S Army medical corps at Fort Knox and Fort Sam Houston. After his army service, he did his graduate work at City University of New York, Hunter College, Yeshiva University, and the University of California.
Gatto 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 has received several awards, including the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for Excellence in Advancement of Educational Freedom in 1997.
He is currently working on a 3-part documentary about compulsory schooling, titled The Fourth Purpose.


• Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (1992).
• The Exhausted School (1993).
• A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling (2000)
• The Underground History of American Education (2001).
• ‘Against School’ (2003)
• Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling (2008)


Paul King is a happily married unschooling dad of two wonderful boys. Currently living in Bali and working his way around the world. He runs the websites and

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