On Pedagogy (For All Of Us)

I am soooo loving this book, From Teaching to Thinking: A Pedagogy for Reimagining Our Work. Ann Pelo is one of the authors, who I know personally. She is thoughtful and grounded. My pages are rather dog-eared now. Poems. Passages. Insights that I want to carry with me for next gatherings that I’m part of.

This book is written in the context of the educational field, particularly early education. I want to suggest it’s reach is so much broader. For pedagogy, a theory of how any of us learn, and a statement of assumptions about context — well these matter to all of us. It’s the thing behind the thing that shapes how we encounter each other.

It’s a book about being better humans, together. It presupposes and advocates a shift from “teaching to” to “thinking with.” It highlights two grounding and guiding questions of significance that underlay so much of what any of us are up to in most every field of human endeavor. 1) What kind of people do we want to be? 2) What kind of world do we want to live in?

This book grows thoughtfulness, in part because it’s grounded in stories of young kids learning. And because it highlights the leadership, and I would say human-growing, that is culture making. We make who we are and how we are in the world by what we become with one another, starting anywhere.

From Ann and her coauthor Margie Carter, their reflections on “pedagogical leaders”…

  • hold the space for generativity
  • cultivates in self and community an appreciation for and aptitude with complexity
  • seeks to increase the diversity of perspectives that contribute to a conversation, understanding that many stories can be true at the same time
  • develops intellectual discipline in the community, the discipline that is necessary for collaborative study and intentional action
  • links theory and practice in continual conversation
  • tells the stories of the community — stories about children, stories about educators, stories about families.

Glad for any of us with the courage to name the story under the story.