What if Teaching Went Wild?

Anthony Weston


Almost by necessity, school cuts us off from the experience of a larger world: from
natural rhythms, natural beings, more-than-human flows of knowledge and inspiration. In
fact, we could hardly design a worse setting for environmental education! The problem is
that, at least for now, we’re stuck with it. Part of our challenge is to find ways to work
toward and embody a radically different practice and philosophy of (environmental)
education within schools as we know them. This paper suggests that even in a traditional
classroom it is still possible to unsettle our deeply-felt sense of disconnection from the
world, and to begin to reconnect. It may even be possible to make use of school’s hyperhumanized
and academic setting to this very end. The required pedagogy, however, is
rather wild. It is much more personally demanding and unnerving than the usual sorts of
pedagogical innovations. The latter part of this paper suggests a series of “everyday and
practical” classroom strategies in this new key.

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