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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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Afterword: Of Experiencing Pedagogy by Rainbow Light



Of Experiencing Pedagogy by Rainbow Light

Molly Quinn

In the Kabbalah, it is said that human beings are Divine Sparks, the glowing emanations of God’s creative light, each one unique and irreplaceable. However, some sparks burn brighter than others. Bill Doll is one of those rare individuals whose Being burns so bright that his mere presence transforms the lives of all those he touches. He has transformed my life.

I first met Bill in the fall of 1990. God had “died” (Nietzsche 1883/1982), my religious life work had become questionable—me, in slight existential crisis. I enrolled in a class with Dr. Doll to get recertified as a teacher. Whoosh!1 And the rest is history—a PhD, and paradigmatic shift—an utterly transformed cosmology and consciousness later for me! This towering yet remarkably inviting man stood before me, a veritable postmodern pastiche; a combination of Bostonian gentleman, Northeastern Intellectual, Mystic Philosopher-­Sage, Bohemian Artist-­Poet, Dr. Seuss, and Santa Claus: exuberant, big hearted (albeit thin), playful, poetic—dare I say, eccentric; yet elegant, distinguished, and wise. Gorgeous snowy white hair, the classic bow tie, and a laugh that could change the world; he taught me via Piaget (1977) to appreciate my “disequilibrium” (Doll, 1989/2012c),2 to embrace chaos (1986/2012h) as a cosmological good, to honor my inner complexity (1998/2012i), and “just Dewey it” (1990/2012g) with respect to the writing. As a teacher, he accomplished what he aspired to create: the...

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