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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-Four: Teaching, Practice, Wisdom: An Invitation to the Banff Centre


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Teaching, Practice, Wisdom

An Invitation to the Banff Centre


At the conclusion of a four-course graduate certificate, we met for two days in June 2014 at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, Canada, with two guests: Dr. Dwayne Donald (2009a and b, 2012a and b) and Dr. David G. Smith (1999, 2006, 2014), both of whose work we read over the course of our own ventures. A great part of our explorations involved an attempt to recover something lost in the world of schooling, that we have ancestors and fellow venturers whose work and words surround us and provide refuge, encouragement, warnings, support and reprimand, all at once. That many feel uprooted from this ancestry and rich ecopedagogical surrounding is why we called our first certificate “Two Roots of Classroom Inquiry” and also why we took great pleasure in what, over time, felt less and less coincidental: the Latin term for “roots” is radix. It is itself the root of the word “radical.” Radical. A rootedness that persistently, and with patience and perseverance, generosity and a certain discipline, needs to uproot the spells of our rootlessness that have got us, not rooted but “bound without a rope” (Loy, 2010, p. 42).

“Like a prisoner whose cell gate has never been locked” (Loy, 2010, p. 40).

This “never been locked” is part of the great and...

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