A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned
In a memoir that begins with her earliest school days, proceeds through college and graduate school, and arrives at her hard-won professional successes, Tompkins shows how her education shaped her in the mold of a high achiever who could read five languages but had little knowledge of herself. As she slowly awakens to the needs of her body, heart, and spirit, she throws out the window all the conventions of classroom teaching and discovers what her students' lives are like. Tompkins comes to develop an attitude toward learning that accepts the importance of the inner life. With this new-found pedagogy, one is educated not only through reading Melville or T. S. Eliot, but also through more unusual channels: a karate lesson, Buddhist meditation, cooking a meal, walking a dog.
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