Transforming History: A Curriculum for Cultural Evolution

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Education is now the major concern of many Americans. Education, however, is about more than teaching children how to function in life. It is a means of transmitting both a culture and a heritage. In this dynamic and far-reaching work, William Irwin Thompson, one of today's most innovative interdisciplinary thinkers, talks about how to transform a cultural legacy in the course of transmitting it. In the process of discussing this issue with the purpose of providing a home-schooling curriculum in the culture and ...
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Overview

Education is now the major concern of many Americans. Education, however, is about more than teaching children how to function in life. It is a means of transmitting both a culture and a heritage. In this dynamic and far-reaching work, William Irwin Thompson, one of today's most innovative interdisciplinary thinkers, talks about how to transform a cultural legacy in the course of transmitting it. In the process of discussing this issue with the purpose of providing a home-schooling curriculum in the culture and history of humanity and the West, the author gives us a mind-rattling tour of our potential as human beings.

Thompson describes four "cultural ecologies" using a broad-based intellectual vista that takes in an expanse ranging from the Gilgamesh epic of 2000 B.C. to Disney, U2, and Ronald Reagan. The author's visionary approach takes education far beyond the bland, watered-down curricula forced upon so many students today. He not only presents a far-reaching system of knowledge, but suggests how we may stimulate the best and healthiest patterns of development in children and teenagers.

About the Author:
William Irwin Thompson became nationally known through his best-selling book on contemporary affairs, At the Edge of History, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1972. As a cultural historian and philosopher of culture, he is most widely known for The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality, and the Origins of Culture; Imaginary Landscape: Making Worlds of Myth and Science; and Coming into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness. In 1972 he founded the Lindisfarne Association, a fellowship of artists, scientists, and contemplatives, and was its director for twenty-five years. Thompson now serves as the curriculum designer and faculty consultant to the Ross School in East Hampton, New York, and divides his year between New York and Switzerland.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Thompson (At the Edge of History), a curriculum designer and faculty consultant for Ross School in New York and an early 1970s consciousness guru, has written an ambitious, dense, and difficult-to-comprehend curriculum designed to carry home-schooled children from kindergarten through the 11th grade. Based on an in-depth liberal arts focus that would challenge most college students, Thompson's curriculum requires his youngsters to develop an understanding of works ranging from Gilgamesh to The Crying of Lot 49. Some real jewels, namely, the account of his own education, are buried under an avalanche of jargon and confusion as he tries to explain his interdisciplinary worldview and approach to schooling. A typical phrasing: "A cultural-ecologyeis a tissue of simultaneities of organisms playing out a similar adaptive approach in different demes, different biomes." Huh? Recommended only for major university libraries. A.O. Edmonds, Ball State Univ., Muncie, IN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584200017
  • Publisher: SteinerBooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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