Love in Education & the Art of Living

Edited by:
Becky L. Noël Smith, California State University, Fresno
Randy Hewitt, University of Central Florida

A volume in the series: Studies in the Philosophy of Education. Editor(s): John E. Petrovic, The University of Alabama.

Published 2020

It is common for teachers and students of education to feel disheartened about the profession and their own aims and purposes once they become conscious of the dehumanizing tendencies of the schooling institution. As teacher educators, we have also known many students who, after studying critical perspectives aimed at exposing the power and privilege flowing through the public schools, then look to us with the question, “Where’s the hope?” Our attempt to answer our students’ questions has led us to consider what beauty and love in education look like. Where can it be seen, and how can we bring this forward so it can be instructive to those who are faced with similar questions about the incredibly important craft of teaching?

This collection of narratives, essays, and poetic expressions includes the perspectives of students and educators who, in varying ways, express gratitude toward those who came before them and a deep desire to keep the faith alive. The authors share narrative accounts of someone or something in the public schools or learning experiences in general that inspired and nurtured the passionate desire to achieve goods internal to some shared practice – that is, some art at living – such that there was a transformative readjustment to the very nature of experience itself. We share with readers the stories and intellectual habits that have fueled us, inspired us, and that continue to push us to engage in the practice of cultivating educational dynamics that are meaningful and transformative for ourselves, our students, and our communities. The book concludes with an exploration into how teachers might not only root their craft, but the habit of love in general, in a sense of freedom.

Introduction. SECTION I: CRITIQUE. The Coil About Us: Capitalism and Dehumanization via Schooling, Randy Hewitt and Becky L. Noël Smith. Letter to Becky: A Pre-Service Teacher’s Philosophical Inquiry, Myra Verdugo. SECTION II: NARRATIVES OF LOVE & BEAUTY IN EDUCATION. Gettin’ Critical Wit it, Ricardo D. Rosa. Love: Lost, Revisited, and Realized, Becky L. Noël Smith. Got Love for the People Who Got Love for Me: Shared Practices and Public Schooling, Randy Hewitt. Radical Love and Artful Living: One Educator’s Conceptual Journey, Eric C. Sheffield. A Series of (Mostly) Fortunate Events and Relationships, Richard Meyer. Critical Thinking With Nowhere to Go, Brian Kelleher Sohn and Sultana A. Shabazz. Seals’ Theory of Educational Energy Development (STEED) and Dewey’s Law: A (Teacherly) Love Story, Brenda Seals and Greg Seals. SECTION III: SUGGESTIONS. The Habit of Thinking, Robert R. Sherman. Thank You, Ashley Leonen. Conclusion: Teaching (and Learning) Through Despair With Philosophy and Love as Hope, Becky L. Noël Smith and Randy Hewitt. About the Contributors.