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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 Seventy-Three: School Storage Bags: Not as Innocent as They Seem


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School Storage Bags

Not as Innocent as They Seem


Seen at the Dollar Store:

SCHOOL Storage Bags: Perfect size for folders. Documents. Papers. Great to protect your documents.

Rushing through the Dollar Store, intent on my shopping list, I was suddenly jarred out of my multi-tasking state of mind. A gasp. A jolt. I found it strange that the nudge to return to mindfulness was triggered by a glance at a colourful box that was as busy and rushed as my thoughts. Blue, yellow, red and white collided with uppercase, lowercase, text boxes, images, cursive writing and different fonts. I stopped to take a photo. Michael Derby (2015) writes that “an ecohermeneutic approach to pedagogy thus encourages pausing momentarily in our tracks” (p. 4). Originally I took the photo because I wanted to document that individual moment; it wasn’t until later that I realized the significance that photo would have on (re)defining my pedagogy, a reflexive process that evolves continuously.

The forced importance of leveled reading has permeated our culture to such a degree that we can now buy bags that are PERFECT to contain our precious documents (or leveled books.) Added to the irony is that there is an image of a Disney princess behind the box. Not noticing the princess in the background until later when I looked at the photo I’d taken gives...

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