TOUCHING THE WORLD: Adolescents and Their Education by Myron & David Denman Arms

TOUCHING THE WORLD: Adolescents and Their Education

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Arms and Denman conceived, organized and, briefly, ran Kaleidoscope, an alternative educational program for teenagers until the project was shot down by the Philadelphia public school bureaucracy. Here they describe the three-month pilot term during which variously alienated students (here called internes) became enthusiastic workers and investigators in their volunteer roles throughout the city. Kaleidoscope, seen by its founders as less a school than an ""enabling structure"" which can yet serve as a model for ""the school as a brokerage of educational opportunity,"" was designed as a realistic middle road between ""the humanist reformers who tinker within the schools and the radicals who tell us to deschool."" Much of what the authors say about the meaningless regimentation and institutionalized mistrust of existing public schools has already been said often and better, and their long philosophical digressions, citing not only Erikson, Carl Rogers and Paul Goodman but also, on the idea of order, Wallace Stevens, make more of their familiar ideas than the point requires. However, as one more alternative to a rotten system Kaleidoscope deserved to live, and as one more example of an educational option destroyed its story should be known.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1975
Publisher: Scribners