The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
27. Envisioning the Environment as the Third Teacher: Moving Theory into Practice
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Envisioning the Environment as the Third Teacher
Moving Theory into Practice
Sheryl Smith-Gilman, Teresa Strong-Wilson, & Julia Ellis
If we live in a space and respond to it, little by little, fashioning each part of it into more of what we need and what is pleasing to us, then things continue to grow. We make a change; then the change alters the way we do things and new possibilities emerge. We are inspired to make another change, and so it goes. This is the way of an alive environment. (Cadwell, 2003, p. 107)
How is it that what Hannah Arendt calls “the thing character of the world” marks the place from which we begin life and potentially where we also see its end coming? We come to understand who we are in the world from the places that we make; the places that we inhabit; the places to which we are denied access; the places that we find in which to wander freely. Places are not abstract entities but are visceral and real. This does not mean that they are only physical. Rather, or more accurately at the same time, they are also imagined, as in the child whose hand twists away from Louise Cadwell’s own, gesturing: “I need space. I have to see and feel this place in my own way. Let me go” (Cadwell, 2003, p. 102). Let me go. The...
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