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From the Parade Child to the King of Chaos

The Complex Journey of William Doll, Teacher Educator


Hongyu Wang

From the Parade Child to the King of Chaos depicts the pedagogical life history of an extraordinary teacher educator and internationally renowned curriculum scholar, William E. Doll, Jr. It explores how his life experiences have contributed to the formation and transformation of a celebrated teacher educator. From the child who spontaneously led a parade to the king of chaos who embraces complexity in education, complicated tales of Doll’s journey through his childhood, youth, and decades of teaching in schools and in teacher education are situated in the historical, intellectual, and cultural context of American education. Seven themes are interwoven in Doll’s life, thought, and teaching: pedagogy of play, pedagogy of perturbation, pedagogy of presence, pedagogy of patterns, pedagogy of passion, pedagogy of peace, and pedagogy of participation. Based upon rich data collected over six years, this book demonstrates methodological creativity in integrating multiple sources and lenses. Profoundly moving, humorous, and inspirational, it is a much-needed text for undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education, curriculum studies, theory and practice of teaching and learning, life history studies, chaos and complexity theory, and postmodernism.
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1. A fractal is a mathematical set that displays a self-­similar pattern across different scales. It is generated by running nonlinear equations of complex numbers, reiterated countless times through computer programs. French mathematician Benoȋt Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” in the 1970s to describe the complexity of the irregular shapes in nature (Capra, 1996). Nowadays, fractals have become more popular mathematical and artistic images. Doll uses a fractal as a metaphor for curriculum to convey its complexity, richness, fluidity, and iterative beauty. See Chapter 4 of this book for more discussion. For more details, see Doll’s (2005) co-­edited book, Chaos, Complexity, Curriculum, and Culture: A Conversation.

2. In almost every chapter, I introduce an episode from the video transcription of Doll and Trueit’s team teaching as an example of Doll’s pedagogical approach. In the transcription, I use the last names of Doll and Trueit and the first names of students, mainly because students were referred in class conversations by their first names. However, there was one exception. Fu is a Chinese student’s last name, not his first name, but I followed class members’ references to him as Fu in the conversation to make it easier for readers to recognize the name.←23 | 24→ ←24 | 25→

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