HUMAN TEACHING FOR HUMAN LEARNING: An Introduction to Confluent Education by George Isaac Brown

HUMAN TEACHING FOR HUMAN LEARNING: An Introduction to Confluent Education

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Confluent education is the term for the integration or flowing together of the affective and cognitive elements in individual and group learning -- sometimes called humanistic or psychological education."" As described by Dr. Brown (workshop leader, Gestalt therapist and awareness trainer at Esalen and professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara), it is a demand for humanization, for an awareness that thinking is accompanied by feeling and should not be separated in the learning process. Deriving primarily from his participation in a Ford-Esalen project, his ideas are not entirely new but they are more extensive than most magazine articles and are supported by reports from four workshop colleagues teaching in California schools. In fact, three fat chapters (nearly half the book) are comprised of unit outlines and lesson plans for subjects ranging from first grade body awareness to high school literature and driver education. A valuable guide for sympathetic teachers, this does not offer a simple solution to joyless classrooms; nor is it offered without regard for practicality and responsibility. Dr. Brown recognizes many pertinent problems: the limitations of ""instant"" group leaders; the thin and sometimes dimming line between teaching and therapy (with implications about the teacher's needs); the danger of child-centered curricula that substitute the immediate environment for relevance. Further, he opposes those who want to destroy and begin anew (e.g. Paul Good-man) because ""there are not enough surgeons"" and far too many butchers. This doesn't have the dramatic appeal of Dennison's The Lives of Children or the casual insight of Holt's How Children Fail but it is an informed and informing approach.

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 1971
Publisher: Viking