This gracefully written meditation on how we learn by anthropologist Bateson ( Composing a Life ) stresses that most learning occurs outside of schools. Her view of learning as an improvisational, lifelong, participatory activity that changes the learner is enriched by personal examples drawn from her years spent abroad--as a teenager in Israel (1956-58) and on a return trip there in 1988-89, as a fieldworker and young professor in the Philippines (1966-68) and as a teacher and new mother in Iran (1972-79) with her husband Barkev, an Armenian Christian who grew up in Syria. Shuttling among cultures, Bateson brings fresh perspectives to concepts of beauty, the self, competition vs. cooperation, parenting, rituals, the division of labor between women and men and the stultifying effects of television. A wise and liberating book, Bateson's multicultural exploration calls attention to the guiding power of metaphor to provide a framework of meaning, such as the Gaia hypothesis, which conceives of the planet as a living organism. $60,000 ad/promo; author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994 Release date: 07/01/1994 Genre: Nonfiction
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