The Careful Vision: How Practical Is Contemplation in Teaching?
American Journal of Education
Short Title: The Careful Vision
Format: Journal Article
Library/Archive: Copyright © 1989 The University of Chicago Press
Sources ID: 21983
Does teaching begin and end in contemplative thought? In exploring this question, Margret Buchmann suggests that conceptions of teacher thinking must be expanded beyond planning and decision making. People's ordinary conception of thinking includes imagining, remembering, interpreting, and caring. Hence, to understand the full scope and meaning of teachers' thoughts, researchers and teacher educators have to broaden and diversify their ideas. Contemplation is a process of thinking that, though remote from action and utility, directs and supports the comprehensive practical life. Describing contemplation as careful attention and wonderstruck beholding, the author examines subject matter and children as objects of teachers' contemplative concern. Her argument for the practicality of contemplation is based on a concept of practice going beyond what an individual teacher does or what can be typically observed in schools. This collective, moral concept invokes intrinsic ends and ideas of perfection: constitutive fidelities of teaching that are made available in contemplation.