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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 Forty-Seven: “I Love the Terror in a Mother’s Heart”


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“I Love THE Terror IN A Mother’s Heart”


The Introduction to Pedagogy Left in Peace (Jardine, 2012) sketches out the threat-mechanism that causes us to entrench into the tried and true in order to protect ourselves and our kin. “Time Is [Not] Always Running Out” (Jardine, 2013b) makes links between industrial assembly, efficiency, and the sways of the market economy, and how such mechanisms create, rely on and maintain a low-level panic in order to sustain themselves. It traces, then, how this “cult of efficiency” (Callahan, 1964) took over the imagination and practices of education and led to the rendering of the living disciplines of knowledge into things akin to industrial objects to be efficiently assembled. This promise of efficiency then dovetailed with the never-fully-fulfilled promise of market logic—once efficiency movements in industry reach a certain threshold in their satiation of market demands, market demands themselves became the topic of psychological manipulation to increase demand (see, e.g., Leach, 1994). In both of these texts, there were only hints at the issue of the deliberate manipulation of fear and dissatisfaction that might inform educational practices. I always tended to pull back for fear of exaggeration and distortion. I have also always warned new teachers that they are easy prey for the predatory practices of publishing companies and their promises to relieve their anxieties.

So, in this light, I now offer this, from...

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