Transformative, Intercultural Learning from the Indigenous Teaching Circle: Creative autoethnographic reflections on dialogic, holistic education with place
This reflective, creative autoethnography explores an intercultural, dialogic pedagogy of transformative learning that has historically been taught as a teaching circle in indigenous communities. The focus is on what this alternative learning process means to a non-aboriginal learner, artist/teacher, and whether the circle pedagogy can be collectively engaged in the classroom by non-aboriginal and aboriginal teachers/learners. Through a visual and poetic autoethnography, the researcher presents her thematic reflections on her learning experience. The study concludes that aboriginal and non-aboriginal teachers/learners may benefit from the teaching circle process because it is a participatory model of transformative education that is grounded in the holistic pedagogy of place.
Doctor Stockmann and Greta Thunberg: Some Implications of Intellectual Resistance, Eco-activism and Unschooling
This paper ascertains how Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and Doctor Stockmann of Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People (1882) represent an intellectual activism in two different contexts of world realities. Greta (2003), a Swedish teenager, singlehandedly embarks on a “School Strike for Climate” (SSC) in August, 2018 (Swedish: Skolstrejk för klimatet), which subsequently develops into a global movement being broadly labeled as “Fridays for Future” (FFF). She has now spearheaded this strike towards a worldwide climate movement. She has thus forged her identity as an eco-intellectual or climate activist but endured the backlashes and controversies of the development pedagogues and totalitarian world leaders. On the other hand, Doctor Stockmann, an alter ego of Henrik Ibsen, functions beyond his own profession to serve his intellectual responsibility. He detects fatal infection in the spa of the fictional city which garners a substantial financial sustenance for the city. He strives to disclose the diagnosis of bacterial contamination to avoid the health and economic hazards of his locale. But in so doing, he is converted into a foe of the city and finally forced to go for a social estrangement by the city mayoral administration. This paper concentrates also on all the socio-ethico-political compulsions, which pose threatening inhibitions to Dr. Stockmann but lead him to evolve himself into an intellectual rebel. By exploring these two contextual instances of intellectual activism and confrontation, this paper also locates Greta and Stockmann within a broader spectrum of eco-ethical resistance that can designate them as a thematic content in the unschooling learning spaces. This paper hinges on Greta in a particular light by presenting Greta’s resistance as a call for re-visioning the societal ideologies on children and their relationship to environmental consciousness.
The Commodification of the Female Body on Instagram: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis
No Amount of Tinkering Around the Edges: A Qualitative Study of Teacher Narratives About Leaving Conventional School Teaching and Discovered Self-Directed Learning Spaces
In this paper, I qualitatively analyze written and audio (podcast) accounts from eight teachers who left the field of conventional school teaching and went on to found or work in self-directed learning centers. Studies on teacher attrition tend to focus on teachers who leave education entirely (or continue teaching by working through hardships). The experience of these teachers – who neither remained in conventional schools or left careers in education – highlight an interesting middle-space. I review the similarities and differences of these former-teachers’ journeys, as well as compare their reported experience to existing literature on teacher attrition.
Willed Learning and Art as a Way for Young People to Express Their Feelings
The homeschooling of my 6-year-old son during the school closures due to the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 has become exceptionally easier when, after a few failed attempts, I decided to give willed-learning a try. I have been brought up in a very different educational system, and my biggest fear was to lower my standards. I thought without a fixed daily plan and a rigid curriculum, my son would waste his time, but soon I realized that my style of homeschooling is more damaging than helping. After trying the willed-learning approach, his stress subsided and he became more confident and happy in his learning journey. In this paper, I will share my story while drawing on the willed-learning approach by Carlo Ricci (2012) to argue that children will feel empowered when they have the freedom to choose when to learn,
what to learn and how to learn.
Whispers of Transformative Silence on the Country Road to College
A doctoral dissertation that sought to illustrate the country road to college involved traveling thousands of miles to interview rural and indigenous students about their collegiate experiences. Whispers of transformative silence pointed to a distinct reality beyond what was actually said. The research involved writing-up what was actually spoken by study participants (i.e. exterior realities), not what I was actually listening into (i.e. interior realities). Reflecting on this odyssey, it seems participants were pointing towards what is often missing in mainstream higher education.
Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning as Unschooling: Relevant Studies and Contemporary and Indigenous Definitions of Unschooling
Many Canadian homeschool families use different methods of learning at home, including unschooling. The methods and definitions can be challenging. The author’s review of the literature identifies both contemporary and Indigenous definitions of unschooling. As a Metis family that is learning at home without a curriculum, the researcher questioned where are other Indigenous families who are learning the same way. Using auto-ethnography to illustrate how the author’s family came to learning at home, this paper explores relevant North American studies of homeschooling. The research reveals that most data are limited to enrollment data by provinces and territories. The concluding result of the study determines that Indigenous ways of teaching and learning is unschooling.
Creating an alternative dissertation: Learning from the gates of loving inquiry
My alternative PhD dissertation documented my practice of Loving Inquiry during a year of
living in my new home on Butterstone Farm, Salt Spring Island. Using the arts-based practices of poetry, narrative and photography, I learned to pause, breathe in and open my heart into
relationship with the human and natural beings there.
Sing, O Muse: On the Link Between Creativity and Self-Directed Education
This article explores the connection between self-directed education and creativity.
Creativity is characterized as having the ability to produce ideas or creations that are innovative,
original, and imaginative. Self-directed education refers to a type of education in which what,
where, and how a student learns is chosen by the student, rather than strictly following a
predetermined curriculum. There are currently three primary means of self-directed education:
unschooling, democratic schools, and free schools. This article discusses five ways in which the
concepts of creativity and self-directed education overlap. These connections are: the connection between life and learning, the crucial role of play and experimentation, increased personal autonomy, a strong sense of personal initiative, and an egalitarian social structure.