Teaching and Active Hope ~ Happy Thanksgiving

Me, presenting at this year Permaculture Teachers Training
Me, presenting at this year Permaculture Teachers Training

“In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible, and remains so, maybe for 20 years”. ~ Jacques Barzun.

What is learning?

Learning is transformation: when we “learn” something changes inside us…and usually too, something changes out there.

This week I learned many things…

from my two PIDP courses I learned (and in some cases re-visited concepts I thought I knew)…

…that we are wired to learn through questions but our school systems teach through answers: instead of asking and encourage questions, we provide our students with “truths” and declarative sentences, shutting the door to further exploration, curiosity and inquires…

...that the best way to learn is by first learning how to learn: however our schools teach us that grades, repetition and packaged information are more important…

…that teaching, even when you may have lots of degrees and experience, is messy and full of ethical dilemmas and unexpected situations…and that good teachers muddle through by scanning, appraising and acting, sometimes doing so in a matter of seconds…

…that lecturing is just one in a million teaching strategies but for some strange reason continues to be the most chosen by teachers around the globe…but luckily there are many great ones that we can learn and choose from…

I teach because I search, because I question, and because I submit myself to questioning”. ~ Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom

Flowers from my Community Garden, October 2014
Flowers from my Community Garden, October 2014

...I also learned things from work and life…

…that sometimes “business as usual” can be changed by how you choose to do your work…

…that active hope is a much better choice than despair and doom, and that you may sow things today, things whose harvest you may never enjoy…

…that investing in people and community pays off in unexpected and wonderful ways…

In summary, these last two weeks were a huge roller-coaster with an unexpected turn: I have work for 18 more months, I reconnected with somebody and something I still love profoundly, I saw the path to a dream slowly approaching to coming true, I dove deep and down into the oceans of life and learning and I emerged again, full of active hope…

There were some key moments I want to acknowledge as we are approaching Canadian Thanksgiving:

  • My Permaculture class at UBC Farm: the small forest, the little children’s community garden, the cob-houses and oven where I baked bread…the pollinators’ path with Amaranth and Sunflowers, the giant herbs spiral, the apple trees, my crew…
  • My workplace and their plans to build the first ever sustainable building for refugees and immigrants, with green roofs and edible gardens: http://www.issbc.org/ and the sense of being part of this wonderful group of dedicated people, with all the ups and downs, all the goods and the mistakes…still working hard to make a difference in the lives of others…
  • My community garden’s AGM and its incredible people, all the accomplishments we have in less than a year functioning…the sink, the collective mural, the compost, the straw bale garden, our angel Rick and his incredible energy… and all the plans and designs coming up: the gazebo, the trellises with kiwi plants, the apple trees, the cob oven and the potlucks with workshops on composting, companion planting, canning and much more…
  • The reconnection with friends from our local Transition group and the Food Action Coalition and all the possibilities, all their successes and unstoppable enthusiasm: David’s dedication, Linda’s dreams and passion, Henry’s actions, Deirdre’s persistence and so many more…
  • The dreams for 2015 and 2016 and the plans…knowing that what we do makes a difference in other peoples’ lives…

There are many more things to be grateful for than things to be scared, hurt or angry about…

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
~ Dalai Lama XIV

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all…

Sunflowers from my community garden plot, October 2014
Sunflowers from my community garden plot, October 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some resources:

Metacognition:

http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/toolkit/meta-cognitive-and-self-regulation-strategies/

http://www.learner.org/courses/learningclassroom/support/09_metacog.pdf

https://teal.ed.gov/tealguide/metacognitive

Instructional Strategies:

http://www.ku-crl.org/sim/brochures/LSoverview.pdf

https://education.alberta.ca/media/1214792/e_spla4to6ch4.pdf

Teaching through questioning:

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/the-role-of-questions-in-teaching-thinking-and-learning/524

http://www.udel.edu/chem/white/U460/Devel-question-skills-UTx.pdf

http://www.bartelart.com/arted/questions.html

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