For example he gives the six basic functions of modern schooling, while also explaining them in detail as opposed to just naming the functions and having only the knowledgeable audience know what is being said, as what would happen in a formal diction essay. Another example was, as shown before, the difference between school and education. Gatto clearly broke it down in case someone of lesser knowledge would take it in the wrong context. He also uses simple terms, for example “we must wake up to what our schools really are…” where he could have said for formal diction “our society needs to seize a point of reality in understanding what the true nature of modern schooling is about”. This also is a very effective strategy Gatto used. He was able to reach a variety of audiences to further his opinion of modern schooling, so people could come to reality and start making a change.
As a member of public schooling, therefore a member of the targeted audience, I can much relate to his opinions. Having just transferred, as a junior, to a community college from a public school that has very low standards, I can very well relate. There was much boredom and I felt like I was wasting much of my time in high school. This essay definitely raised a brow on me and I surely want to start making a difference as far as “schooling” and “education” in America.
John Taylor Gatto. “Against School.” Copyright 2003 by Harper’s magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduced from