Lefty Parent

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Living & parenting without the rule book

John Taylor Gatto on the Keys to an Elite Education

January 26th, 2009 at 11:47

Responding to Evie Montoya’s comment about the John Taylor Gatto video…here is the YouTube video introducing the Gatto piece I mentioned and presenting the first three of the fourteen things that they teach kids in elite prep schools that are generally not taught in public schools….
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It is an interesting list, including…

1. Developing ones own theory of human nature from history, philosophy, theology, literature and law.
2. Having a strong experience with the act of literacy, that is writing and public speaking.
3. Understanding the major institutional forms, including courts, corporations and the military.
4. Learning the forms of good manners and politeness.
5. Doing extensive independent work.
6. Participating in energetic sports to learn physical grace and presence.
7. Learning how to gain access to any institution or important person.
8. Taking responsibility for some important community service or leadership opportunity.
9. Developing a personal code of standards in production, behavior and morality.
10. Becoming familiar with the master creations in the arts and literature.
11. Developing the ability of accurate observation and recording, including drawing ability.
12. Dealing with personal challenges of all sorts to push ones own envelop.
13. Developing a habit of caution in reasoning to conclusions.
14. Practicing constant development, testing and refinement of ones own judgment.

Here’s Gatto presenting items four thru six…
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…seven thru twelve…
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…and thirteen and fourteen.
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And here is a link to the site where you can download these and a whole series of other Gatto videos…www.edflix.org/gatto.htm.

From my experience listening to and reading Gatto, I find him to be quite the character, the provocateur, and at times maybe a little full of himself. Regardless, I think his thoughts and ideas are worth listening to and wrestling with. There is no one else I have encountered in alternative education circles that is quite like him.

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2 Responses to “John Taylor Gatto on the Keys to an Elite Education”

  1. teri Says:

    This is great I have been telling my parents about this. i will foward to anyone.

  2. Cooper Zale Says:

    Glad to hear that you find Gatto’s list useful and are going to spread it around.

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