Teaching with love: How may I continue to improve my practice as I get older?

TitleTeaching with love: How may I continue to improve my practice as I get older?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLohr, E
Refereed DesignationRefereed
JournalEducational Journal of Living Theories
Start Page112
Date Published06/2016
Type of Articleliving theory

Thayer-­Bacon (2003) defines (e)pistemology as a form of knowing and knowledge that is unique to the individual and makes no assumptions that there is some universally defined Knowledge. In the same way I use the term (o)ntology to refer to my own experience of 'being' and not a category that assumes can be experienced by everyone. This paper revisits the relation between (o)ntology, (e)pistemology and my practice, which was the focus of my doctorate written in 2006. I continue to use the terms (o)ntology and (e)pistemology to indicate my individual experience of ‘being’ and ‘knowing’. Thayer-­Bacon also distinguishes between epistemology-­in-­general and relational epistemology: that is knowledge derived through connection, response and resolution of difference. It is here, at the boundary between inner ‘knowingness’ and outward action that I find new meaning and new ways of acting which leads me to distinguish between values and skills in the pedagogic relation (Bernstein, 2000). I learn (and write) iteratively, building one set of meanings upon another. This way of learning starts with an embodied perception arising in meditation, which is the (o)ntological experience; articulating the experience (either by thinking, speaking or writing) becomes ‘knowing’ which is my (e)pistemology; relational epistemology is what I learn through social interactions and teaching; the explanation of this learning is my living-­theory. As a teacher of yoga and meditation I aim to support the spiritual development of my students in whatever individual ways they make meaning. It is a love‐informed teaching practice that seeks to nurture development and based on the ideas of Ruddick (1989) writing about fostering growth in children, and Fletcher (2001) researching the unrecognised ways in which women contribute to projects within engineering organisations.

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