NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1110809
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
In the Presence of Teaching: Reflections from a Project
Minnich, Elizabeth; Gardner, Laura; Sorkin, Brenda
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v48 n3 p60-66 2016
Talking together about their teaching in very different fields--philosophy, art, movement education/somatics--the authors realized that there was something startlingly similar and valuable about what they were trying to teach and that it was somehow expressed in the elusive but crucial "how" of their actual teaching. How they teach is never neutral. It suggests to their students ways of relating to themselves, their own experiences, interests, hopes, problems, their peers, authorities, knowledge--the world. For three years, the authors discussed what they actually do when teaching: describing, questioning, reflecting; sharing writing; discerning recurrent themes as they observed characteristics, qualities, and, importantly, values. What, they kept asking, is the why that informs the how of the way they teach? They agreed that, whatever science may contribute to it, teaching itself is an art, often--when purposefully focused in the unique present moment, on the presence of these, and no other, students--an improvisatory one. This relational art in the details of actual practices suggests that values are in play, including respect and care for individuals; weighting the unique over the standard; embracing the present rather than reducing it to no more than a means; enhancing autonomy by taking experiences as well as authoritative sources seriously. Such enacted values reclaim learning as a heightening experience of life rather than merely or primarily preparation for it.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A