Category Archives: John Taylor Gatto

Stay focused on the goal of reaching the educated state

Excerpt from my article, “Are All Homeschooling Methods Created Equal?

According to [John Taylor] Gatto (2001), the process of “education describes efforts largely self-initiated for the purpose of taking charge of your life wisely and living in a world you understand. The educated state is a complex tapestry woven out of broad experience, grueling commitments, and substantial risk” (p. 49). This highly subjective description of what it means to be an educated person is explained in further detail throughout Gatto’s writings, especially as outlined in the pages of his book, A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling, and his Harper’s essay, “Against School” (Gatto, 2003).

His combined “curriculum” as stated in the preceding sources, can be condensed into the following general description of methods Gatto recommends to achieve a well-rounded education:

  • Teach serious material
    • History
    • Literature (real books)
    • Philosophy
    • Music
    • Art
    • Economics
    • Theology
    • Be flexible about time, textbooks, materials, and tests
  • Encourage maturity
    • Think critically and independently
    • Self-control
    • Financial responsibility
    • Self-entertainment
    • Capacity for insight
    • Examine political and commercial statements
    • Develop deep friendships/relationships
  • Train to be leaders and adventurers
    • Encourage curiosity and questions
    • Give autonomy to take risks now and then
    • Adventure
    • Resilience
    • Introduce kids to competent adults

To read the complete article, go HERE.



Charlotte Mason and John Taylor Gatto

One of these days (hopefully very soon), I’m going to take some time to write about the workshops I attended this past weekend at the Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) Convention in Puyallup, Washington.

The two featured speakers were John Taylor Gatto (author and New York Teacher of the Year) and Catherine Levison (author of several Charlotte Mason related books).  It was amazing to me how smoothly the messages of Gatto and Levison blended together and complemented each other. Continue reading

An Educated Person

John Taylor Gatto’s writings are filled with 30 years of experience teaching in public schools and should be read by all parents who home educate their children, no matter which method(s) of homeschooling they use.

Here are some of Gatto’s ideas about what it means to be an educated person. Continue reading