The Community Is In Us

From looking at place, language, time, and self/other in Living Inquiry to our current discussions about citizen city, cosmopolitanism, Greene/Dewey/Arendt’s perspectives of educators and education, to Ouri’s views of place/space embodying whole cultural significance in terms of its architecture and purpose/functionality, I am day by day deepening my sense of belonging and responsibility within my urban school environment and community with all its layers of diversity and complexity.

Since this program, my mind is continuously making connections and envisioning newness between the readings and my explorations to my teaching practice, experiences, initiatives, engagements with students, colleagues, friends, family, community members, strangers, as well as, to connections with the news and life on regional, national and global levels.

Lately, I have been looking at how my school is fostering a stronger sense of school belonging and nurturing a more passionate sense of school connection in our students. Besides many educator’s and school initiatives, we are also transforming our school wide ideology into everyday reality on our school grounds and outdoor learning spaces. We have created many opportunities for students and educators to learn, play, reflect, grow collaboratively, as well as, build relationships. The following are examples of our on-going social transformative efforts.

Murals

Friendship Benches

Garden

Outdoor Classroom

Games 

The transformative intentions behind these everydayness of school life lie in the “possibilities inherent in ordinary experience” (Dewey) of a bench or a bed of greens. They give students and staff a sense of individual existence, communal belonging, and collective affirmation and connection to our school philosophy of feeling safe, kindness, and striving to be the best learners and leaders we can be.

I have journeyed from ‘living inquiry’ to the ‘ways of knowing’ in just six months. Through this evolutionary journey, I have grounded my social transformative efforts and vision in theoretical connections. If this is what six months have already offered, I am anticipating the rest of my journey in Urban Learner 11 with heighten enthusiasm and curiosity.

“In the progressive moment one looks toward what is not yet present, what is not yet the case, and imagines possible futures.” -Kanu and Glor.

 

Reference

Kanu and Glor, ‘Currere’ to the rescue? Teachers as ‘amateur intellectuals’ in a knowledge society. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 2006.