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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 Ten: A Modern Hunting Tradition


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A Modern Hunting Tradition



My inspiration for “A Modern Hunting Tradition” came in the form of a quote by David Smith (2014), who wrote that:

Furthermore, some things reveal themselves on their own terms, when they are ready, not simply under the duress of a formal curriculum requirement at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. This is now well understood in the realm of ecology, for example, and the study of (so-called) wildlife. The best way to see animals in their natural habitat is simply to sit still; then the animals will come out of hiding and show themselves. (p. 82)

I wanted to be reminded of what it feels like to sit still, to notice, to remember the more-than-human world (Abram, 1997). In conversations with colleagues, friends and students, I have come to notice that growing up “in the bush” is, for a growing number of humans, a story of foreign lands. Places like Rock Island Lake, the fishing camp that my parents operated where I spent my first five summers; Fox Farm Road, the log cabin on the mountainside; Paradise Lake; and Nicola Lake—these are my places, where I feel at home. Joe Sheridan and Dan “He Who Clears the Sky” Longboat (2006) explain that “settler culture” (Western society) has not yet “naturalized” to...

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