Quote from the Text

Gatto attributes the following quotes from William Torrey Harris’ Philosophy of Education (1906).

1. ‘Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.’

2. ‘The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.’”

An Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto, p. 132

Fact Check

The first quote appears to be a truncated, modified version of a quote from Harris’ 1893 lecture at Johns Hopkins.

1. “Ninety-nine out of a hundred people in every civilized nation are automata, careful to walk in the prescribed paths, careful to follow prescribed custom. This is the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual under his species.”

2. This quote cannot be found in Harris' 1893 lectures and the Philosophy of Education book from 1906 associated with Harris was a series of essays where he acted as editor, not author. The quote does not appear in that text.

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