Memory & Presence in Teaching
Chapter 8: Auto/biography and Conflict in Teaching and Life
Auto/biography and Conflict in Teaching and Life
Coming to the University of Haifa in 1986, I was troubled to see that, despite the diversity of the student body, the majority of students (particularly undergraduates and prospective teachers) chose to socialize and engage in discussion only with members of their own groups. At first I experimented with a variety of interventions, usually improvised on the spot with little success and some embarrassment. For a while I attempted to ignore the matter, consoling myself that in graduate courses the students, most of them teachers, shared their professional experience and concerns quite easily without any evident barriers of ethnic, linguistic, political or religious difference. But then I came across a significant book, Sitting in the Fire (Mindell, 1995), in which Mindell discusses his approach to working with conflict, claiming that “engaging in heated conflict instead of running away from it is one of the best ways to resolve the divisiveness that prevails on every level of society—in personal relationships, business and the world" (1995, 12). Reading this book and feeling the excitement of the possibilities I envisioned within Mindell’s examples of his work, I began to understand that my efforts to bring students into dialogue were motivated by something beyond a preference for an active and engaged classroom. I took two actions as a result of reading the book: I arranged to study at the Processwork Institute in Portland, Oregon. And I volunteered...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.