Mann, a sociologist who has reported on encounter groups (Encoutner: A Weekend with Intimate Strangers, 1970), now applies...

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LEARNING TO BE

Mann, a sociologist who has reported on encounter groups (Encoutner: A Weekend with Intimate Strangers, 1970), now applies encounter principles and a melange of other notions to education. His theory -- that growth rather than knowledge is education's proper goal -- has merit but his implementation is pretty far out. The dry first section explains fifteen functions ""in terms of which the human organism can be described and analyzed"" and the methods by which these can be ""approached, controlled and cultivated."" The functions range from relatively mundane ones like perception and motion to the esoteric -- meditation and paranormal abilities. Mann recommends an eclectic collection of techniques, using everything from Viola Spolin's role playing to B.F. Skinner's operant conditioning. He concludes with a trippy scenario of a day spent in a hypothetical ""school for growth,"" an experience that includes a computer-simulated moon flight, a student-run gestalt therapy session and a class in introductory meditation. Experimentally minded educators may find some usable ideas, but it's hard to tell whether Mann intends his school for ""being"" to be taken as metaphor or model.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972