John Taylor Gatto, the acclaimed teacher who encouraged so many of us to embrace self-directed education, passed away on Thursday, October 25, 2018.
John's passions for self-directed education, which is often called “unschooling”, helped guide many of us in getting our children out of the classroom and into the varied environments where they follow their own interests and learn through everything.
Gatto was a public school teacher who, for three years in a row, was recognized as teacher of the year for his service in the New York Public School system. After almost 30 years in the system, he decided “he could no longer hurt children”. He spoke out and encouraged teachers to challenge the system. He believed that learning was actually inhibited in the classroom setting and that every single moment of life presents us with the opportunity to learn and grow.
He sent his resignation letter “I Quit, I Think” to the Wall Street Journal, where it was published as an op-ed on July 25, 1991.
John Taylor Gatto's Resignation: "I Quit. I Think"
From SchoolSucks Podcast
His voice will continue to be heard through those of us who embrace his theories and through our children who have been set free to learn their way.
“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your roadmap through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die." -- John Taylor Gatto
If you have not already read one of his books, here is a list of some you might find interesting.
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (1992)
The Exhausted School (1993)
A Different Kind of Teacher (2000)
The Underground History Of American Education (2001)
You can read more about John Taylor Gatto on his website.