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30 review for The Education of Koko

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    Every page of this book is wnderful. It's entertaining, it's educational, it breaks new ground in so many ways. It's important because of the way it erases the line between humans and the other species.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John Perrone

    No. Did not get it. KOKO passed in 2018. She lived a long life, in captivity, under the care of humans. Their intention was to show that our closes relative, in the animal kingdom, are capable of learning a complicated task. (I think) The realization of any animal to run from the horror that are HUMANS is the only thing that any animal should be taught. Media fodder. Stockholm syndrome. Remember her story from my early 20s and it was noticed but after reading the book just can not see the point. No. Did not get it. KOKO passed in 2018. She lived a long life, in captivity, under the care of humans. Their intention was to show that our closes relative, in the animal kingdom, are capable of learning a complicated task. (I think) The realization of any animal to run from the horror that are HUMANS is the only thing that any animal should be taught. Media fodder. Stockholm syndrome. Remember her story from my early 20s and it was noticed but after reading the book just can not see the point. A feel good story it is but to what end? Keep Reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    dragonhelmuk

    Got as free gift when donated to Gorilla conservation trust (actually my main reason for donating)... This book is truly excellent, it mixes all the fun (and serious) of psychological studies with lots of transcripts from conversations with Koko the first signing gorilla. Actually it paints a strange picture of koko. Half her sentences are entirely self centered, but some of them are really serious, and some of the transcripts are just amazing. Three quotes: (Transcript with koko (the gorilla is s Got as free gift when donated to Gorilla conservation trust (actually my main reason for donating)... This book is truly excellent, it mixes all the fun (and serious) of psychological studies with lots of transcripts from conversations with Koko the first signing gorilla. Actually it paints a strange picture of koko. Half her sentences are entirely self centered, but some of them are really serious, and some of the transcripts are just amazing. Three quotes: (Transcript with koko (the gorilla is signing) KOKO: Do key do key. (I mold the sign open.) KOKO: Open. (I open the door and take her piggyback down the hall to turn down the heat. As I do so I mold ride.) KOKO (as we turn around to go back): Go there. When we returned, Koko tore around the trailer for a minute until I caught her and brought her back to the kitchen. She went to her potty and signed, Cat cat cat cat. Then she returned to the window to look at the cat, who was in the grass hunting. She signed, More there, took my chin in her hand, pointed to my mouth, and signed, More more there. Wondering if she wanted me to repeat the call I made to KC earlier, I signed, More cat say? She replied, Cat. So I again called, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty," to her apparent delight and satisfaction (interesting old theory) The attempts to impart sign language to chimps and to Koko have also enlivened another line of research. The fact that our closest primate relatives can learn a gestural language even though they cannot talk has renewed interest in an old idea –namely, that mankind’s first language was gestural, and that speech evolved after man first developed the ability to control his actions purposefully in the form of making tools and using a rudimentary sign language. This hypothesis is compelling because, if true, it suggests a single origin for the disparate collection of abilities common to logic, language, and technology (depth of understanding from a gorilla) KOKO: Dead drapes. MAUREEN: Let’s make sure, is this gorilla alive or dead? KOKO: Dead good bye. MAUREEN: How do gorillas feel when they die –happy, sad, afraid? KOKO: Sleep. Koko seems to think of death as peaceful and secure. Several times she has used the word drapes to modify death. This impression is reinforced by the way she links the feeling of death and sleep. There is also evidence that this is not a case of mere confusion, since Koko gets quite upset when asked what will happen when she or I dies. Once when Maureen asked, “Do you think Penny will die?” Koko fidgeted for about ten seconds and then only signed, Damn! On the other hand, if the talk is about death in general Koko does not find the subject so terrifying: MAUREEN: Where do gorillas go when they die? KOKO: Comfortable hole bye. MAUREEN: When do gorillas die? KOKO: Trouble old

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    THE EDUCATION OF KOKO by Francine Patterson and Eugene Linden is nonfiction about a gorilla named Koko who was raised to speak by sign language. The book is full of interesting facts and great pictures, but it was a disappointment. I expected that it would be Koko's and the authors' story. Instead, it is more a discussion of language abilities and a report of their "experiment" to teach language to a nonhuman species. Please don't be put off if these facts interest you and it doesn't matter to y THE EDUCATION OF KOKO by Francine Patterson and Eugene Linden is nonfiction about a gorilla named Koko who was raised to speak by sign language. The book is full of interesting facts and great pictures, but it was a disappointment. I expected that it would be Koko's and the authors' story. Instead, it is more a discussion of language abilities and a report of their "experiment" to teach language to a nonhuman species. Please don't be put off if these facts interest you and it doesn't matter to you that this project has a story to tell. It matters to me. So I would have liked to see these facts presented differently. As it is, THE EDUCATION OF KOKO is not engaging enough to make a reader delight in it. And that's what I thought it would be and so easily could have been. All these details could have been included in the story of the experiment and the growing relationship between Koko and her humans (and her kitty).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    This book gives you great insight into the process of scientifically studying how apes acquire a gestural language. I think that Penny Patterson may be a bit too self-important, and may take some liberties when describing Koko's feats, but I fully believe that this gorilla knows and uses sign language. This book illustrates all her trials and tribulations of trying to prove to the intellectual community that Koko really does use sign language. She breaks down all the rigorous tests she used to p This book gives you great insight into the process of scientifically studying how apes acquire a gestural language. I think that Penny Patterson may be a bit too self-important, and may take some liberties when describing Koko's feats, but I fully believe that this gorilla knows and uses sign language. This book illustrates all her trials and tribulations of trying to prove to the intellectual community that Koko really does use sign language. She breaks down all the rigorous tests she used to prove this feat. This book is not as "heart-warming" as Roger Fouts' "Next of Kin," (which deals with chimpanzees who use sign language,) but it goes into far more explanation about the actual scientific study of primates using language.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jan Underwood

    The latest in my ongoing obsession with books about the cognitive abilities of our primate relatives. I had to laugh when I read some of the other reviews, which objected to the "boring" scientific data and analyses presented in this book.I find these "boring" parts riveting. The capacity of primates other than humans to communicate , coin words, lie, rhyme, make puns, discuss the past and future, and express a whole spectrum of emotions is, to me, MADLY INTERESTING. I am withholding a fifth star The latest in my ongoing obsession with books about the cognitive abilities of our primate relatives. I had to laugh when I read some of the other reviews, which objected to the "boring" scientific data and analyses presented in this book.I find these "boring" parts riveting. The capacity of primates other than humans to communicate , coin words, lie, rhyme, make puns, discuss the past and future, and express a whole spectrum of emotions is, to me, MADLY INTERESTING. I am withholding a fifth star only because I actually wanted _more_ data and analysis, and because the book, published in 1981, is out of date. To my knowledge there has been no sequel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Really interesting insight into animal behavior/linguistics, though I imagine that due to the age of the book and the general nature of the discussion that it's more interesting to those, like me, who are somewhat new to the field. Even so, the evidence for the use of language as a dynamic, extendable tool in apes was pretty compelling, and it definitely made me want to find out more. The book also has a nice mix of narrative/anecdote, rigorous analysis of Koko's progress, and general informatio Really interesting insight into animal behavior/linguistics, though I imagine that due to the age of the book and the general nature of the discussion that it's more interesting to those, like me, who are somewhat new to the field. Even so, the evidence for the use of language as a dynamic, extendable tool in apes was pretty compelling, and it definitely made me want to find out more. The book also has a nice mix of narrative/anecdote, rigorous analysis of Koko's progress, and general information on the field. A quick read, too.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joe Hunt

    This was my favorite book for a while! (I bought it for 1 or 2 people, for birthdays.) I saw the Nat. Geo. special of it as a kid. Then, good old genius Dave Elton wrote some poems about Koko the Monkey at the Y. (I just realized: maybe Dave got it from Zina Peterson talking about it. Maybe Dave had that class, too.) But it really is kind of fun reading. And she had her own cat! Fantastic.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tippy Jackson

    Koko (and her kitty) is awesome. My favorite part was reading about her novel word combinations. In particular, when she didn't know the word for ring she said finger bracelet. Brilliant! A lot of time is spent on Patterson's logistical problems. BTW, for some shameless self-promotion, if you like reading about animals, check out my blog on wildlife at http://backyardzoologist.wordpress.com/ Koko (and her kitty) is awesome. My favorite part was reading about her novel word combinations. In particular, when she didn't know the word for ring she said finger bracelet. Brilliant! A lot of time is spent on Patterson's logistical problems. BTW, for some shameless self-promotion, if you like reading about animals, check out my blog on wildlife at http://backyardzoologist.wordpress.com/

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jihae

    This book blew my mind. There are technical (boring) middle chapters about their methodology and linguistics but Koko's conversations are amazing. Everything I remembered that Koko is a gorilla, this book got more amazing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    VERY interesting subject, but kind of a boring book. Lots of it was debate about what language is, but it was written in 1981, so a lot of it is probably outdated. We can all learn from what Koko and Penny have taught us though, and I have the utmost respect for her.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle

    I have a signed copy thanks to my altruistic moment of donating my entire holiday bonus to the Koko foundation several ago. What a fascinating life!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Gerlach

    This book is good, but dated. I would recommend finding a more current book on Project Koko.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    loved and i wish it were me

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marja

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Welch

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tracey Ramsey Abbott

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ricki Ward

  22. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rose

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brónach

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebarrio

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erica Dale-Nagle

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robert

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