Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

January 2004


Published (as Chapter 4) in Pedagogy of Place: Seeing Space as Cultural Education, edited by David M. Callejo Pérez, Stephen M. Fain, and Judith J. Slater (New York: Peter Lang, 2004), pp. 79–96. Copyright © 2004 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission


This inquiry reveals the crucial guidance of teachers toward surveying the capacity and needs of students, the formation of ideas, acting upon ideas, fostering connections, seeing potential, making judgments, and arranging conditions. Each aesthetic trace causes me to wonder how teachers learn to create experiences that foster student participation in the world aesthetically. The following considerations surface:

• Given the emphasis in schools on outcomes and results, how do we encourage teachers to focus on acts of mind instead of end products in their work with students?
• Given the orientations toward technical rationality, to fixed sequence, how do we help teachers experience fluid, purposeful learning adventures with students in which the imagi¬nation is given room to play?
• Given the tendency to conceive of planning in teaching as the deciding of everything in advance, how do we help teachers and students become attuned to making good judgments derived from within learning experiences?
• How do we help teachers build dialogical multivoiced conversations instead of monolithic curriculum?
• What do we do to recover the pleasure dwelling in subject matter? How do we get teachers and students to engage thoughtfully in meaningful learning as opposed to covering curriculum7
• A capacity to attend sensitively, to perceive the complexity of relationships coming together in any teaching/learning experience seems critical. How do we help teachers and students attend to the unity of a learning experience and the play of meanings that arises from such undergoing and doing?

The traces, patterns, and texture evidenced locate tremendous hope and wondrous possibilities alive within aesthetic teaching/learning encounters. It is such aliveness I encountered in the grade 4 art classroom that opened this account and continues to compel my attention. Possibilities for teaching, learning, and teacher education emerge. I am convinced they are most worthy of continued pursuit.