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A Curriculum of Wellness

Reconceptualizing Physical Education


Michelle Kilborn

A Curriculum of Wellness seeks to encourage a deeper discussion about teaching our children how to be healthy and live well. It makes a significant contribution to the field of education as it features influential curriculum concepts nuanced with action research principles in a unified, intimate, and deeply relational inquiry into physical education teacher practice. This work presents a very practical yet complex and wisdom-guided way to transform teaching practices that follow more holistic understandings of wellness. A new mode of curriculum inquiry, wisdom-guided inquiry, is presented, providing an opportunity to open up a fresh avenue to understand curriculum and become engaged in discussions that concern teaching, learning, and public education. An outstanding feature of this book is its transdisciplinarity. While the story is situated within physical education discipline, this book has implications for all teachers and teacher educators because it provides insights that encourage us to consider more carefully the subjective insights of teachers and to understand these as central to being and becoming a teacher. A Curriculum of Wellness is essential reading for curriculum and pedagogy scholars, teacher educators, teachers, and other health-related professionals to think differently about curriculum and pedagogy – making it a great option for many related graduate and undergraduate courses.
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Chapter 4: Wisdom-Guided Inquiry: A Mindful Journey


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Sitting still or lying still, in any moment we can reconnect with our body, transcend the body, merge with the breath, with the universe, experience ourselves as whole and folded into larger and larger wholes. A taste of interconnectedness brings deep knowledge of belonging, a sense of being an intimate part of things, a sense of being at home wherever we are. We may taste and wonder at an ancient timelessness beyond birth and death, and simultaneously experience the fleeting brevity of this life as we pass through it, the impermanence of our ties to our body, to this moment to each other. Knowing our wholeness directly in the meditation practice, we may find ourselves coming to terms with things as they are, a deepening of understanding and compassion, a lessening of anguish and despair.

— JON KABAT-ZINN (1994, P. 226)

The term “inquiry” comes from the 13th-century Old French term enquerre, meaning “to ask about” (inquire, n.d.). “To ask about” how someone teaches must intimately involve the teacher in the process, consider the complexities of practitioner research in a school setting and carefully consider the situatedness of the teacher. In other words, the way you choose to conduct research determines the type and depth of knowledge about a question. If you look beyond conventional empirical understandings of the term “methodology,” and consider method in the broader ecological sense, originating from the Greek...

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