Pedagogic Caveat

That scholarly dispersal of “knowledge” should adapt to reflect the complexity and mindfulness of ecological intelligence (Bowers, 1995). Other than the spontaneous, intuitive, and interactive activities of some academics, the primary method for knowledge sharing has been couched in the restrictive text of journal articles. This “paper” seeks to stretch outside of the linear, singular-identity-forming boundaries of academia through hypertext, praxis, and author-reader collaboration.

Seeding Preamble

Human identity is built through the ecological and cultural inter-discursive experiences of our lives (Bowers, 1995; Stanger, 2011, forthcoming). As humans we are blessed with the abilities to imagine, communicate, and connect with not only our own species, but many other species and places. If I were to ask you about your childhood special place, you would likely be able to describe it with incredible detail and clarity, even eliciting the complexity of smell, sounds, and textures. Of course, many of the childhood special place experiences occurred in our most inquisitive years. If we participate in human and ecological societies with the same curiousity and recognize when we are in an opportune place at an opportune time, special learning experiences that transform us can still occur (Johnston, 2009; Rathzel & Uzzell, 2009). These transformative places and times can be physical, like a food garden, or be entirely in our mind, like thoughts or ideas. Yet, despite acknowledging our abilities to connect with nature and society in transformative ways, many humans in western culture pay scant attention to the local and global environment and spend little time engaging in community activities (Louv, 2005; Yamauchi & Purcell, 2009).
I believe our disconnection from our societal or ecological communities is due to living in a consumerist daze which is contributed to by the confounding political landscapes where we focus the majority of our attention on irrelevant abstractions of wealth (ex. Dow Jones Index) and expressions of affluence (ex. electronics, cars, shoes). Many people have pointed to the education system as “the solution”, be the problem video game addictions, health quality, environmental ignorance, or a wash of other “issues.” And still the underlying challenges of “enlightening” education systems so that the powers-that-be rebuild, redesign, and reform curriculum to resemble ecological and cultural connectedness are hypocritically built right into this very text. Scholars, academics, and researchers pontificate in prodigious and recursive quantities through formal and frankly dull documents. Understandably, information for discussion should be presented in clear, simple, and lexically-appropriate methods but considering Marshall McLuhan's wisdom, the message of this medium is one of an elitist inaccessibility that doesn't reflect the complexity and creativity of learning (McLuhan & Fiore, 1967). I also question whether, documents such as this really change the way we think and do as teacher-scholars. Of course, with the advent of post-modern writing styles with performative techniques (eg. Hurren, 2009), colour and texture has been added to many research papers, but almost entirely through metaphoric imagery.
In that stream of thought, I will cease to write with my flowery speech impediment and continue this exposition on gardening one’s mind through a playful and performative approach. This will require you to play along and embrace flakiness (or if you prefer, interact with this knowledge through ulterior means). I need you to take a risk, which is something very appropriate for the topic of ecology, gardening, and Mind. For, like gardening, all learning is a risk worth taking.
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