This fat companion to Crisis in the Classroom (1970), which strongly urged an end to the dreary formalism of American public school education, is an anthology of theoretical and practical writings about ""the open classroom,"" a structured but unregimented system of self-motivated learning. There are descriptions of English infant schools run on this basis, as well as American experiments. Contributions from Whitehead, Dewey, a Piagetian, an official Vermont paper, etc., on the goals and means of education are followed by various closeups of how the teacher in an open classroom interacts with each child and how it is possible to provide so much individual help. El. wyn S. Richardson counsels, ""don't abandon the virtues of formal teaching,"" and others discuss specific curricula in reading, math, science, and the arts. There is also a lot of advice about materials, but most of the selections seem rather remote from the budgetary problems, overcrowding, etc. that increasingly afflict the public schools. Silberman has also largely ignored the new trend toward ""work-study,"" hinted at chiefly in R. S. Wurman's article, ""The City as Classroom,"" where he mentions students doing clerical duties at the Board of Education. Sufficient funds, space -- you don't need a huge hangar -- and teacher education' resources are presumed by the writers, and it undeniably sounds like the kind of classroom you wish you had had, or want your kids to have. The book will be an instant standard reference on the subject.