Another Brick in the Wall
“A birding lesson: I became someone through what I know” (Jardine, 1998, p. 94). “This idea of a knowledge of the ‘ways’ (Berry, 1983) of things and the immediacy, patience, repetition, persistence and intimacy - the ‘attention and devotion’ (Berry, 1977, p. 34) - that such knowledge requires, is ecologically, pedagogically and spiritually vital. It suggests that a knowledge of the ways of the red-winged blackbirds is not found nestled in the detailed and careful descriptions of birding guides. Rather, such knowledge lives in the living, ongoing work of coming to a place, learning its ways and living with the unforeseeable consequences that you inevitably become someone in such efforts, someone full of tales to tell, tales of intimacy, full of proper names, particular ventures, bodily memories that are entangled in and indebted to the very flesh of the Earth they want to tell” (Jardine, 1998, p. 95).

“Across opinions, though, there seems to be one point of agreement: that formal efforts to educate have to do with prompting learners to notice certain aspects of their worlds and to interpret those elements in particular ways. Or, in other words, formal education has to do with one group's desires - conscious and not conscious - to have another group see things in the same way. Parents' efforts to educate their children, governments' efforts to educate the general public, and teachers' efforts to educate their students all share this goal. A question that is not often asked, though, is: What is the nature of this seeing - that is, of perception?” (Davis, Sumara, & Luce-Kapler, 2000, p. 3). 

“The ecological literacy movement is pitted against a much larger and more entrenched system of capitalistic resource exploitation and an equally intense set of stories about the benefits of commodification and consumerism. Whether we will avoid an ecological wreck in our future is completely unknown. What we do know is that this struggle is deeply embedded in an ongoing social discussion about the meaning and nature of the society in which all of us might want to live, about the ability of stories to give a voice to the voiceless and about the values that ultimately our stories about ourselves and the places we live will transmit to our children” (Armstrong, 2007, p. 19).
“Because the knowledge of the ways of a place is, of necessity, a knowledge webbed into the living character of a place and webbed into the life of one who bears such knowledge, such knowledge is inevitably fragile, participating in the mortality and passing of the places it knows. A knowledge of ways, then, must, of necessity, include the passing on of what is known as an essential, not accidental part of its knowing. It is always and already deeply pedagogical, concerned, not only with the living character of places, but with what is required of us if that living and our living there is to go on” (Jardine, 1998, p. 95).
“An ecological consciousness calls for re-framing thinking that nurtures an understanding of the interrelational nature of the world - it is action that leads to participatory interaction of self with world” (Thomas, 2004, p. 239).
“The desire to know the world behind its names is the death of knowing which is objective, ordering, communicable and of the apparently secure life that rests on such knowing” (Lilburn, 1999, p. 13).
“This is the perfect segue into the unearthly lonliness we are now facing and are solemnly passing on to our children under the guise of education and the individual, manic pursuit of excellence-as-self-absorption-and with this, all the little built-in panics and terrors that come with the blind rush to be up-to-date, ahead of the game, or, as phallocentrism would have it, the potent desire to end up ‘on top’” (Jardine, 1993, p. 88).
“What teaching is can never be reduced to or understood in terms of what the teacher does or intends. Rather, teaching must be understood in terms of its complex contributions to new, as-yet-unimaginable collective possibilities” (Davis & Sumara, 2007, p. 1).
“In remembering to be present in our own lives, we become available to engage more fully with our students” (Kull, 2001, p. 48).