Painting Chinese: A Lifelong Teacher Gains the Wisdom of Youth

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Aug 21, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 169 pages
3 Reviews

As Herbert Kohl approached seventy, he realized the image he had of himself (energetic man in midlife) was not in keeping with how he was viewed by others (wise grandfather figure). To counter the realization that he was growing old, Kohl, a staunch believer in lifelong learning, set out to try something new. While on a walk, he happened upon a painting studio and on a lark signed up for a beginning class. When Kohl arrived for his first lesson, he was surprised to see the students were Chinese children between the ages of four and seven.

Now, after three years of study, Kohl tells us what he learned from them. He shares the joys of trying to stay as fresh and unafraid as his young classmates and the wisdom he unexpectedly discovers in the formal tenets of Chinese landscape painting. As he advances into classes with older students, he reflects on how this experience allows him to accept and find comfort in aging. For anyone who feels stuck in the wearying repetition of everyday life, Kohl's adventures will clearly illustrate that you can never be too old to grow from new experiences.


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User Review  - debnance - LibraryThing

Kohl was feeling down with his life as an aging educator. He wanted totry something fresh and new. Somehow he ended up in a painting class,a class to learn to paint the Chinese way, a class for children.It was just what he needed. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VioletBramble - LibraryThing

What a wonderful story. Herbert Kohl was a teacher his entire professional life. He taught grade school through college level students and was active in education reform. In his late sixties he ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Herbert Kohl is the author of more than forty books, including 36 Children, The Open Classroom, I Won't Learn from You, Stupidity and Tears and A View from the Oak, which we wrote with his wife, Judith, and which won the National Book Award for children's literature. He was the founder and first director of Teachers' and Writers' Collaborative and established the Center for Teaching Excellence for Social Justice at the University of San Francisco. He is a senior fellow at the Open Society Institute, a part of the Soros Foundation Network. He lives in Point Arena, California.

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