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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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Chapter 6. Pedagogy of Peace



Pedagogy of Peace

Peace is usually not associated with William Doll’s teaching, yet a sense of peace with himself and with what is happening in the world around him marks his pedagogy. I intentionally place this chapter after the discussions of his pedagogy of passion, because the interplay between passion and peace creates a unique pedagogical effect. As Jane Addams (1906/2007) notes, new ideals of peace are not tranquil or passive but complex and dynamic, leading to the nurturance of public life. Doll’s pedagogy of peace is dynamic and closely related to his sense of play (see Chapter 1). Playing with the limits and playing with social relationships would not be possible without a certain flow that springs from inner peace.

Doll does not like to talk about his difficult teenage years. But those years were foundational, because he made peace with his own eccentric styles. He reflects,

I guess I spent much of my youth trying to prove who I was, partly to me, and partly to others, but I really felt tremendously inferior in school, and outside of the school I felt a very strong sense of self and in what I could do. (Interview with Doll, 2009)

During his teenage years he found his niche outside of school. He retreated from schooling and created his own space. Those years were also marked by←111 | 112→ trauma and loss that he had to deal with (mostly in...

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