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On the Pedagogy of Suffering

Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations


Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey

This text articulates how and why suffering can be pedagogical in character and how it is often key to authentic and meaningful acts of teaching and learning. This is an ancient idea from the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus (c. 525 BCE) – pathei mathos or «learning through suffering». In our understandable rush to ameliorate suffering at every turn and to consider every instance of it as an error to be avoided at all costs, we explore how the pedagogy that can come from suffering becomes obscured and something vital to a rich and vibrant pedagogy can be lost. This collection threads through education, nursing, psychiatry, ecology, and medicine, through scholarship and intimate breaths, and blends together affinities between hermeneutic conceptions of the cultivation of character and Buddhist meditations on suffering and its locale in our lives. This book will be useful for graduate courses on hermeneutic research in education, educational psychology, counseling, and nursing/medicine.
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About the author


David W. Jardine is Full Professor of Education in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and is the author of the recently published book Pedagogy Left in Peace.Christopher Gilham is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He is a former junior high/elementary school teacher and consultant. His work is focused on helping cultivate spaces in school settings where typically marginalized and codified students and their educators can thrive together.Graham McCaffrey (R.N., B.A., B.N., Ph.D.) is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. As a member of the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute since its inception, he has also been a Principal Investigator and a Co-Investigator on several hermeneutic research studies.

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