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The Ecological Heart of Teaching

Radical Tales of Refuge and Renewal for Classrooms and Communities


Edited By Jackie Seidel and David W. Jardine

The Ecological Heart of Teaching is a collection of writings by teachers about their life in classrooms. Reflecting over three years of collective work, it illustrates how teachers, parents, and students can avoid some of the distractions and panic endemic to many schools, allowing them to focus thoughtfully on rigorous, beautiful work. It draws on ecological thinking, Buddhism, and hermeneutics to provide deeper, richer, and more abundant sources for teaching, thinking, and practice, and shows how these three lineages provide keys to decode the current malaise that surrounds schooling. The book will be valuable to beginning and experienced teachers and administrators, as well as to parents and anyone involved in stepping away from the exhausting industrial images and ideas that have turned schooling into an ecological and intellectual disaster. For those interested in interpretive research and life-writing, the book provides a wide array of examples; it is a valuable resource for undergraduate classes in curriculum and teaching, as well as graduate research methods courses interested in new forms of thinking and writing.
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Chapter Two: We Went Once Around the Sun: Some Notes on the Origins and Organization of This Book


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We Went Once Around THE Sun

Some Notes on the Origins and Organization of This Book


While sitting in David’s sun-filled office in the forests west of Calgary, finalizing the editing and reminiscing about how this book came to be, Jackie said: “It’s because we went once around the sun!” We both laughed with pleasure at recognizing this to be true, that this long arc of time was one of our companions. We interrupted our editing to contemplate what it means and why it matters to remember, in these human and educational worlds, that we are gravitational travelers around that fiery star that makes all life possible.

In February 2015, we presented with a group of fifteen graduate students at the Provoking Curriculum Conference (Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies) at the University of British Columbia. The presentation was a forty-five-minute, multi-voice performance that included excerpts from many of the chapters in this book. When we finished, the audience was interested in understanding the context of the graduate courses in which this work had been made possible. In particular, some wanted to know how we had been able to create such rich, philosophical, performative scholarship within the contemporary confines of the market structures of universities, in particular the constraints of measurable course objectives, or having to assign grades. Indeed, these are constraining times. The chapters in this book...

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