It's a secret hidden in plain sight, we teach who we are. Palmer (2017)In an effort to reinvigorate the art of teaching, educational theorists have called for teachers to…
It's a secret hidden in plain sight, we teach who we are. Palmer (2017)
In an effort to reinvigorate the art of teaching, educational theorists have called for teachers to learn how to teach with their “whole self” – to be with and teach their students from a position of mindful awareness, authenticity, truthfulness, compassion, and courage (Palmer, 2017; Ramsey & Fitzgibbons, 2005). The skills that support one in mindfully knowing oneself well and being able to creatively and consciously bring aspects of one's knowledge expertise and identity into acts of teaching and learning in the classroom in an authentic way has been labeled the “unnamed domain” in teacher knowledge (e.g., Taylor, 2016). In this chapter, we extend work on a conceptual, evidence-based framework for this unnamed domain. We propose that the formation of teachers who are calm in body in challenging situations, clear in mind when making decisions in complex classroom environments, and kind in approach to interactions with others is one way of describing development in this domain of teacher identity/expertise. Furthermore, we posit that mindfulness, compassion, and other contemplative practices can be useful for developing expertise in it. We present conceptual and empirical findings from a series of studies we have done on the antecedents and consequences of teachers' calmness, clarity, and kindness in the classroom and discuss directions for future research.
In this chapter, we flesh out a new ecological account of the self of the teacher. We contrast this view with more traditional approaches that either stress the subjectivity of the teacher at the expense of the world or emphasize the other more than the self and hence leave no room for subjectivity. On the contrary, to an ecological approach, the self of the teacher is constituted through relating to her own subject matter. This involves a thing-centered approach according to which the teacher is defined in terms of drawing attention to something in the world out of love for this world.