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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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Bill Doll’s Pedagogy: A Peek Behind the Curtain


Bill Doll’s Pedagogy

A Peek Behind the Curtain

David Kirshner

For twenty years Bill Doll was my colleague at Louisiana State University, perhaps partly mentor, but more friend and supporter than guide. Although I share in the curriculum theory community that Bill nurtured, and co-­taught some courses with him, my primary allegiance has been to the mainstream pedagogical enterprise from which curriculum theory recoils. Still, my allegiance is conditioned by a sense of the alienation that scientistic application of psychology to teaching has provoked in the work of my friend Bill and many other colleagues at LSU and beyond; my goal embraces opening up the standard paradigm so it can be seen to be not quite so antagonistic to the humanist impulse that (fortunately) grounds the educational enterprise for many in the academy.

I intend here to render Bill Doll’s pedagogy using a framework that reinterprets the relation of psychology to educational practice, while remaining rooted in psychology’s scientific insights and accomplishments. The goal is multifaceted: to honor an inspired teacher and leader and probe his multifaceted talents; to demonstrate how the varied paradigms of psychology can be marshaled to embrace widely divergent pedagogical aspirations, touching on, also, those espoused within curriculum theory; and to address, a little,←153 | 154→ the tensions within education that come from a separation of humanist and scientific enterprises.

My story of Bill Doll’s pedagogy is one that unfolds in context within context within...

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