This thought-provoking book offers an original perspective on the meaning and practice of teaching as a reflective activity. Max van Manen defines pedagogical thoughtfulness as the way that educators grow, change, and deepen themselves as a result of reflecting on living with children. He shows how the processes of teaching require tact —an interpretive intelligence, a practical moral intuitiveness, a sensitivity and openness toward the child's subjectivity, and an improvisational resoluteness in dealing with children. All teachers — current and future — who are concerned about the "caring" aspects of their work will be inspired by this text.
Max van Manen is Professor of Education at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Researching Lived Experience: Human Science for an Action Sensitive Pedagogy, also published by SUNY Press, and The Tone of Teaching.
"This book is a welcome antidote to the preponderance of psychological texts that paint adult-child interactions as a series of discrete tasks and skills. While acknowledging the place of traditional skills approaches, van Manen openly, directly, and wholeheartedly addresses those dimensions of relationships that psychology cannot handle, primary among which is the elusive ability to be with children in a way that makes personal growth possible. " — Antoinette A. Oberg, University of Victoria
"Modern education has lost much of its moral currency. The passion and struggle for teaching excellence has been inhibited by a variety of social forces including bureaucratic rationality. Current calls for 'participative management' and 'shared governance' are a step in the right direction; however, this type of terminology still lacks the vital moral element which this text addresses. " — James G. Henderson, Kent State University
"From start to finish this is a highly readable, engrossing, and stimulating book; I came away from its reading refreshed and invigorated. The use of anecdotal material (vignettes of children in homes, schools, classrooms, etc. ) is an undoubted strength of the work — I know of no other educational text that makes such extensive use of the commonplaces of everyday life. I found myself relating to these instances time after time after time. " — Rod Evans, University of Calgary