SPEARPOINT: Teacher in America by Sylvia Ashton-Warner

SPEARPOINT: Teacher in America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yet my thesis holds: whatever our child is, that's what his education is when you use his own imagery as working material. . . . Whether spearpoint or tail-end generation, his education cannot help suiting him. . . ."" Using her own fervently lyrical imagery, Sylvia Ashton-Warner writes about a time spent with the spearpoint generation (children of the age of technology often as remote to her as her Maoris of years ago) in a new school ""born but one week only"" in the Rockies. Once again she applies her kind of organic teaching always in close rapport with the children who unfortunately appear here less than she herself does -- filled with interior questioning and cosmic speculation, and that sweetness, a chafing sweetness: ""But it is sweet, oh so sweet! The little ones sitting before me."" But even while acknowledging this new age and its impress, she keeps reminding her ""eartheners"" that ""Education needs its yesterdays""; it also needs to dream and to ""lift [its] sights above it all to the gentle eternal stars."" Whenever Sylvia Ashton-Wamer writes in the autobiographical present, ideas, beyond her own rather unformulated natural wisdom, give way to the epiphanic sense of her calling. Perhaps we have moved too far into that age of technology since the Teacher of ten years ago seems more than ten years away.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Knopf