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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 Thirty-Seven: It Is All Love


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It Is All Love


There is a white woman in his kitchen. He can see her turning from counter to stove between the flowers that line their kitchen window. Beside him, his honey-coloured daughter twirls grapes in the air before eating them. It is quiet. Light caught and stretched between day and evening pulls long shadows across his freshly cut lawn. In this abstraction of size and space he sees, traced on the grass, a large and grand image of what his fledgling apple tree might be with time and the kind of luck he’s used to. In this moment, and those few like it, he feels the chaos that fuels change, the unstoppable shift that moves one thing to another without thought or question and heeding only the drive to keep on. Squat in this moment of not dark and not light he thinks of time. Of ‘one time’ and ‘that time when.’ And of two names (one official, one un-) and the dis/replacement of family. Of plum mangos and the right way to eat an orange. Of his daughter’s not and never knowing. He watches her now, grapes eaten, half stumble to the garden in search of the small strawberries he and his wife planted. She passes through the shadows without stopping.

It has been a long day. Six years of post-secondary does not change the way someone hears you talk....

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