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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

46. The Ideology Of The Text: The Underground HIstory of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

The Ideology Of The Text 

Looking back on the original period of school formation in her study of American history 
textbooks, America Revised, Frances Fitzgerald remarked on the profound changes that 
emerged following suggestions issued by sociologists and social thinkers in the late 
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The original history of our institutions and the 
documents which protect our unique liberties gradually began to be effaced. Fitzgerald 
raises the puzzle of textbook alteration: 

The ideology that lies behind these texts is rather difficult to define.... it does not fit usual 
political patterns.... the texts never indicate any line of action.... authors avoid what they 
choose to and some of them avoid main issues.... they fail to develop any original 

ideas. ...they confuse social sciences with science.... clouds of jargon.... leave out 
ideas. ...historical names are given no character, they are cipher people. ...there are no 
conflicts, only "problems' '. [emphasis added] 

Indeed, the texts may be unfathomable, and that may be the editorial intent. 

The National Adult Literacy Survey 

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