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The Seven Deadly Lessons

             In "The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher," a selection out of Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling published in 1992, John Taylor Gatto warns against the debilitating curriculum to which America's children are being exposed and the degenerative state it is leaving our nation. The seven lessons Gatto presents are able to elaborate the very ironic, but honest function school has in society.
             Gatto mentions the lack of wholeness in education. He states that children are taught in fragmented, incoherent lesson plans as to detour them from the big picture. This idea is initially addressed in his first lesson "Confusion" where the fragmentation of education is focused on, but then reiterated in the third lesson of "Indifference" where the effect of this fragmentation can be seen on the children through lack of enthusiasm for one subject.
             In the lesson of "Confusion," Gatto claims that children are assaulted with information and facts that have no meaning to them. He highlights that teachers do not change this because of their own unconnectedness to one another and their lack of initiative to challenge a system that inhibits modifications. Gatto feels that apathy is what is rendered by this disconnectedness and discusses what short-term enthusiasm is held by students in the classroom within the lesson of "Indifference.".
             Dependency is also mentioned time and time again throughout the essay. Gatto believes that school causes children to rely on external sources for self-validation both emotionally and intellectually. He believes grades to be an inhibitor to self-analysis which he sees as the way to true enlightenment. Gatto alludes to this idea in the sixth lesson where he writes about "Provisional Self-Esteem" and outright explains it in the fourth and fifth lessons, "Emotional Dependency" and "Intellectual Dependency." The idea of "Class Position" can also be categorized into dependency because he describes labeling as part of the system that hinders the self-analysis process.

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