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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 Sixty-Seven: So Many Voices


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So Many Voices


So many voices, so much noise. So many theories, ideologies and priorities, a cacophony of how to’s and why not’s. Noise so thick that even the reasoned voice, the sound advice is lost in the background, overwhelmed by questions and evolving assumptions. I fight to break through, to hear what matters, to find footing in an avalanche. How can I untangle the chains that bind from the roots that ground, wipe away all the noise and hear the whispers through a tainted filter? Flailing to reorient in the midst of chaos.

I need a breath, space to think, to recognize what really matters.

With a deep breath I plunge outward past the illusions, the false logic and the assumptions shined up as truth.

And from afar only wisdom remains, not truth or lies, not answers or even questions, only wisdom, wisdom and humility. Each moment offering infinite complexity, lineages and ties. That which binds, and connects runs under, between and beyond, and demands of me more than I could ever hope to offer. What then to do, how then to proceed without a map, or a net, knowledge becomes an empty basket in the face of a world far beyond my capacity. Only wisdom seems to offer any help, an elusive promise that there may be a way to proceed, that all is not lost, that...

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