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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 7. Pedagogy of Participation



Pedagogy of Participation

The “essence” of our being, if I may borrow the metaphysician’s concept, is to be dialogical—to have interaction with others in a community. Goals, plans, purposes, procedures, judgments, evaluations all come from this sense of community. (Doll, 1990/2012, p. 149)

One landmark of William Doll’s pedagogy is his ability to build a community. Trueit told me this story about her first experience of his teaching a summer class at the University of Victoria:

I was taking a different class that semester, and Bill’s class was just before my class. When I waited outside of the classroom for my own class, I could feel the difference that his class brought to students. In the first few days, students came out one by one, then in the next couple of days they would come out talking to each other animatedly in twos and threes, and by the end of the course, we had to knock on the door to get them out of the room. They would come out en masse and would be talking to each other loudly going down the staircase: they had coalesced into this group, and it was no longer twos or threes but the whole group walking with Bill down the stairway, talking. It is pretty exciting for students of curriculum when you have to drag the class out of the classroom as they were so engaged with the class. (Interview with Trueit, 2010)...

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