ERIC Number: EJ1171903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Becoming "Teacher/Tree" and Bringing the Natural World to Students: An Educational Examination of the Influence of the Other-Than-Human World and the Great Actor on Martin Buber's Concept of the "I/Thou"
Blenkinsop, Sean; Scott, Charles
Educational Theory, v67 n4 p453-469 Aug 2017
This essay is written in two sections. The first, following a short introduction, is made up of three scenarios drawn from the life and work of Martin Buber. As well as demonstrating his obvious interest in human relationships with the other-than-human, each scenario describes an encounter between either Buber himself or a stand-in character and a member of the other-than-human world. Together, these scenes not only suggest that "I/Thou" encounters are possible with the other-than-human, and that they are important for the development of the human I, but also outline characteristics that make such encounters possible. The second section focuses on Buber's description of the "great actor" in order to offer a way teachers might engage their own students with the other-than-human world. Just as the actor embodies both the character and his or her own person in a dramatic role, so the teacher might embody the "I/Thou" relationship with the natural world, becoming "Teacher/Tree," and exemplifying that relationship with the students.
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