The Psychology of Creativity. McCarter states that he found unconvincing Williamson’s chapter on the psychology of creativity. He seems unaware of the substantial, well-documented research about the role of the unconscious in creativity. Kahn sensed this, on one occasion referring to Poincaré’s theories and commenting, “Your mind is at work while you are resting.” McCarter criticizes Williamson’s book for seeking to “interpret” Kahn’s approach to teaching through references to various leading creativity theorists and researchers. A more careful reading of the book’s purpose indicates that Williamson sought to elucidate, not interpret Kahn’s approach to teaching.
Essays by Former Students. McCarter claims that the essays in Williamson’s book written by former Kahn students give few insights into Kahn’s teaching. The essayists were not asked to address this issue, however, since it was covered in the book’s first section, but rather to reflect on how the Master’s Class experience shaped their subsequent career.
McCarter asserts that we learned nothing from Kahn. Most of us learned more from him than just about any other teacher in our lives. As the essays demonstrate, Kahn’s teaching influences our practice to this day. It opened up what previously was dead history and turned it into a living, breathing thing that you could carry on a conversation with for the rest of your life. Most of us never again saw anyone teach the way Kahn did or inspire so many people to do so many different things.
As the first book to focus on the teaching aspect of Kahn’s career teaching at Penn as understood by those who were there, Kahn at Penn paints an accurate picture of an extraordinary moment in architectural education and fills a large gap in Kahn scholarship.
– Sherman Aronson, Michael Bednar, John Cava, J. Michael Cobb, James L. Cutler, Stan Field, John Raymond (Ray) Griffin, Tim McGinty, Glen Milne, Max A. Robinson, Richard T. Reep, Sr., Gavin Ross, Denise Scott Brown, John Tyler Sidener, Jr., Karl G. Smith II, Anthony E. Tzamtzis