Flourishing in the Holistic Classroom

Lisa Marie Tucker, University of Winnipeg

A volume in the series: Current Perspectives in Holistic Education. Editor(s): John P. Miller, University of Toronto. Kelli Nigh, University of Toronto.

Published 2021

In a time of unprecedented changes globally, Flourishing in the Holistic Classroom offers an educational model that is dynamic, organic, and adaptive. The book offers key principles, dispositions, and practices that holistic educators draw from to create learning environments in which their students can flourish. This book describes learning that is based on a balance of inner and outer ways of knowing, with an emphasis on the inner life or soul of the learner. This is illustrated through accounts of running an arts camp using the inquiry process and experiences with teacher candidates. A key principle of holistic education is connection, which is explored through experiential examples such as connections between learners and each other, the teacher, and their subject of study. The role that mindfulness practice and teacher presence plays in the classroom, as well as working with fear and vulnerability are addressed through detailed narratives. The breadth of the author’s experience including being an early years teacher, a director of programs and exhibits in a children’s museum, and working with pre-service teachers is woven throughout the book. Reflections from former teacher candidates highlight the influence that holistic pedagogy has on learners. The book concludes with an invitation to the reader to embrace a holistic, integrative approach to education, which creates fertile ground for student flourishing. Flourishing in the Holistic Classroom is intended to support teachers, administrators, academics, pre-service teachers and graduate students.

Praise for Flourishing in the Holistic Classroom:

"Heartfelt, authentic, soulful! Lisa Marie Tucker’s Flourishing in the Holistic Classroom is a gift to all educators. Drawing on her lengthy career as an educator in various roles, Lisa draws on her personal and professional experiences. Her use of the nautilus shell creates a profound holistic image that connects heart, mind and spirit where personal cosmologies are valued. Her work is timely as we emerge from challenging times and seek to (re)situate and (re)connect ourselves to each other and our planet in a post-pandemic world. Her lived journey resonates and inspires, as we, the reader, moves through each chapter. Drawing on the wisdom of ancestral roots, Lisa explores what makes us human in profound ways."
Marni Binder
Associate Director, Academic Leadership
Associate Professor, Ryerson University

"I loved this book! Flourishing in the Holistic Classroom by Lisa Tucker is a must-read for any teacher who is looking to make education meaningful, engaging, and relevant to students’ lives. It is highly readable and full of practical examples and applications for teachers at all grade levels. It is also a wonderfully inspiring text for professors working in teacher preparation programs. I felt like I was having a conversation with a master teacher - one who truly understands the really important qualities that teachers can cultivate in their lives and work. I appreciated the way substantive theory was integrated seamlessly into her own personal narrative. Using stories, she brings her Nautilus model of holistic teaching to life, creating an intimacy with the reader that engages your mind and spirit."
Sam Crowell
Professor Emeritus, California State University
Founder, MA in Holistic and Integrative Education
Author, Emergent Teaching: A Path of Significance, Creativity and Transformation

"Lisa Invites us to imagine, enact and embody wholeheartedly our life as more than surviving - she wants us to flourish in the classroom as learners, no matter if we are wearing a teacher or student hat. To do this we think of ourselves as a whole person whereby heart, mind, body and spirit are embraced. This is what holistic education is. In this book we are taken on a journey and as Lisa says 'teaching is a complex profession and in order for true exploration and deep learning to occur, a healthy, caring, and sustainable learning community must be developed'."
Dr Narelle Lemon
Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Education
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Foreword, John (Jack) Miller. Preface. Acknowledgments. CHAPTER 1: From Assembly Line to Nautilus Shell. CHAPTER 2: Dreams, Imagination, and Vision. CHAPTER 3: The Heart of Community. CHAPTER 4: Being Real: Paying Attention. CHAPTER 5: The Seed. CHAPTER 6: Voice and Choice: Inquiry-Based Learning. CHAPTER 7: My Journey. CHAPTER 8: The Invitation. References. About the Author.