(Re)Imagining Teacher Preparation for Conjoint Democratic Inquiry in Complex Classroom Ecologies

Deborah L. Seltzer-Kelly, Serina Cinnamon-Morrison, Craig A. Cunningham, Suzanne T. Gurland, Kalinda Jones, Shannon Lindsay Toth


This paper explores the classroom-level implications of complex ecologies, especially regarding the interactions among the cognitive and social/relational aspects of learning. Our focus is upon the ways teacher preparation must be re-imagined if educators are to be ready to facilitate genuinely educative and democratic learning in our country’s increasingly diverse classrooms. We explore the works of John Dewey, Gregory Bateson, James Hillman and others to consider the ways in which teacher educators must be explicitly prepared to understand pathology as a product of the interactions among the elements of the complex ecologies of classrooms and social systems, rather than as an individual quality of students who struggle in the classroom.

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