THE LIVE CLASSROOM: Innovation through Confluent Education and Gestalt by George Isaac -- Ed. Brown

THE LIVE CLASSROOM: Innovation through Confluent Education and Gestalt

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As introduced in Brown's Human Teaching for Human Learning (1971) and elaborated here in a series of essays and lesson plans, confluent education is ""a flowing together,"" ""putting feeling and thinking together in the learning process."" The theoretical basis is Fritz Peris' Gestalt therapy or awareness training; the emphasis is on ""how a student feels now about the content of what I am teaching""; the result is an experience-based curriculum given to role playing and such directives as ""imagine yourself a verb, a noun; become the paper. . . pretend that you're a rock being worn away by water. . . . As I call your name, respond by making the sound of wind"" (this last in a high school English study of Inherit the Wind). Whether the subject be ""creative"" measuring, the Canterbury Tales or The Crucible, many of the recommended exercises -- find the ratio of the length and width of the hall in as many ways as you can; discuss the wife of Bath from a Women's Lib viewpoint -- are already common, among teachers who have never encountered this now highly developed theory. Others -- students circulating around the room using hands to say hello and good-bye in different ways -- seem to our uptight mind irrelevant to an understanding of the text. However the transcripts of teacher-pupil conversations (admittedly more therapeutic than academic) and the reported experiences of practicing converts are evidence that the system as taught in Dr. Brown's workshops can inspire sensitive and effective classroom management.

Pub Date: March 14th, 1975
Publisher: Viking