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Effective or Wise?

Teaching and the Meaning of Professional Dispositions in Education

Series:

Julie A. Gorlewski, David A. Gorlewski, Jed Hopkins and Brad J. Porfilio

In our work as educators, we all aspire to be effective. We also aspire to be wise. If teachers are to represent and advocate for education, we must become the stewards of a discourse that nurtures education’s possibilities. This book explores how teacher dispositions are defined, developed, cultivated, and assessed. The authors in the volume consider the various and interconnected ways in which educators’ values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are performed and how these performances affect experiences and practices of learning. This text investigates complex questions, such as: How should teachers be? and Who should decide how teachers should be? In different ways, all the chapters in this book invite us into the work of reinvigorating educational discourse. The contributors contradict the idea that wisdom is the province of the lone genius who possesses knowledge that is obscure to the majority. Instead, they ask us all to participate in the necessarily collaborative endeavor of discourse stewardship in – as grand as it may sound – the pursuit of wisdom.

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Section Two: Imagination, Joy, and Wisdom

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s e c t i o n t w o Imagination, Joy, and W isdom c h a p t e r f i v e The Joy of Educating jed hopkins e d u c at i o n ’ s j oy One of the disturbing features of modern life is that we live in times in which it is no longer possible to know what to expect of the future based on what we now know of the past. All we can be sure of is that the future will not be much like the past we have known, and because historical time is constantly accelerating, it is a future that will arrive ever more quickly. The disorientation this causes, the disorientation that comes from living modernity’s form of life, can become so intense and perplexing that we find it hard to contain our anxieties. We panic. It is time to initiate a public discussion on what it means to be human, and how reflection on this question can guide us in determining what kind of futures we want for ourselves. (kompridis, 2009, p. 23) “Experience leads, to that openness to experience that is set free by experience itself.” (gadamer, 1989, p. 339) The new beginning inherent in birth can make itself felt in the world only because the newcomer possesses the capacity of beginning something anew, that is, of acting. (arendt, 1958, p. 9) 96 | jed hopkins “ t h e j oy o f c o...

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