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The Ecological Heart of Teaching

Radical Tales of Refuge and Renewal for Classrooms and Communities

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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-Nine: Dear Cohort

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CHAPTER SIXTY-NINE

Dear Cohort

IAN WALSH



Do you remember when we first met, way the hell up in Tuscany? It may have seemed like my mother signed me up for my master’s and I was there against my will. Maybe I was. That was when I did things because I was supposed to, not because they were the right things to do. My motivation for starting was not in line with my motivation for continuing. I continued because of you, because of Jackie and David. And Wendell, and David Smith and Loy and Thomas King. Maxine and Joseph Campbell, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gadamer and all the others.

This journey has led me to rethink my thinking. To take that extra breath and consider what is important, what is the right thing to do. It is not easy to change, to make adjustments to lifelong styles and attitudes. To read your writing, listen to your words, nod and know that there is, even on the darkest day, a small group of people doing the right thing. Thank you.

One of the many examples of the content becoming a part of my process is that I will never hear or use the word ‘believe’ in the same way. David’s An Ode to Xmas Present (Jardine, 2015a; and in this book) changed that. The change is not complete, maybe never will be. It is a work in progress,...

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