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From Teaching to Thinking (ROW)

by Ann Pelo and Margie Carter
ITEM #: 3600573
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From Teaching to Thinking offers a passionate and thought-provoking alternative to standardized, scripted curriculum, giving educators support and encouragement to reimagine the beauty and wonder of what education could be.

Naturally, children are eager for connective relationships, they are curious, they are thinkers. This foundational text is a pedagogical companion for educators that strengthens their own development as thinkers, researchers, innovators, and constructors of knowledge so that they can pass on this way of being to the children in their care.

This book includes:

  • An active reading format that blends theory, story, and practice
  • Reflection questions for the reader to engage with
  • Testimonies from educators who have reimagined their own work using this pedagogical practice

Enjoy this video of author Ann Pelo talk about her and Margie Carter’s book, From Teaching to Thinking.

The Reimagining Our Work (ROW) Initiative

Small groups of people are coming together in study for action cohorts for a series of conversations over a substantial stretch of time to do the work of reimagining early childhood education. As a catalyst for this work, the ROW cohort members read From Teaching to Thinking: A Pedagogy for Reimagining Our Work, using it as a tool to uncover longings and to call forward new possibilities for how we do our work in early learning. Trained facilitators guide this process.

“We believe that educators hunger for deeper meaning in their work. We believe that educators long to be challenged into their biggest, deepest, most startling thinking and questioning. We believe that educators are ready to have their hearts cracked open and their imaginations ignited.

From Teaching to Thinking addresses these desires. Here, we offer contextual thinking about pedagogical practice, and ground theory with a thinking protocol for educators. Our aim is to support educators to move beyond administering prescribed curricula with its corresponding outcomes and assessments, and, instead, engage with children and colleagues as teacher-researchers. With From Teaching to Thinking as your pedagogical companion, we invite you to join in the conversation and to help reimagine a new story of early childhood education.

We write this book for those who refuse to betray themselves or to betray children by adhering to marketplace outcomes and assessment-driven configurations of teaching and learning. We write this book for those who will not be complicit in the narrowing of education to the too-easy formula that says ‘quality’ is achieved by lists of learning goals or by rating scales. We write this book for those who are ready to reimagine our work, and write a new and renewing story of early childhood education.”
- Ann Pelo and Margie Carter

“This book is an important addition to the growing resistance movement contesting today’s dominant narrative about early childhood education obsessed with standardization, predetermined goals, and compliance. Ann Pelo and Margie Carter, in a thoughtful and stimulating dialogue, full of rich material drawn from the life of children and teachers in early childhood centers, offer poetic reflection and wise words about education as inquiry and thinking, starting out from key educational questions: What kind of people do we want to be? What kind of world do we want to live in? What is the purpose of education? Their reflections on the concept and meaning of pedagogical leadership are particularly valuable.”
- Emeritus Professor Peter Moss, UCL Institute of Education, University College London

From Teaching to Thinking takes us up above the mundane practicalities and asks us to re-examine our assumptions about teaching and learning and, in particular, about teachers and those who support them. And then it leads us back down, through reaffirmed or new assumptions, to protocols for making change happen. I am particularly inspired by the way that Pelo and Carter bring forth culture, emotion, and imagination as central to the education of humans. This begs a new definition of ‘education,’ doesn’t it? No longer can we separate the mind from the heart in the classroom. And what wonders occur when we don’t!”
- Pam Oken-Wright, Pedagogical Consultant, The Oken-Wright Pedagogical Consultancy

Table of Contents

Foreword by Pam Oken-Wright

Writing a New Story

Chapter 1
The Heart of Education
Bridging a Divided Life  

Chapter 2
Creating a Culture of Inquiry
An Invitation to Walk Beside

Chapter 3
Rethinking Professional Learning
Communities that are Brave Spaces

Chapter 4
A Principle for Reimagining Our Work: Anchor Organizational Systems in Vision and Values
Dreaming and Vision Building for Professional Learning

Chapter 5
A Principle for Reimagining Our Work: Understand Professional Learning as the Work of Culture-Making
A Community of Shared Intent and Practice

Chapter 6
A Principle for Reimagining Our Work: Engage with Educators as you Hope They Will Engage with Children
Lingering in Generative Space

Chapter 7
A Principle for Reimagining Our Work: Come Together with Families as Collaborators, Colleagues, and Critical Friends
The Courage to Listen 

Chapter 8
Pedagogical Practice: The Thinking Lensas a Research Tool
Infused with Attention and Intention

Chapter 9
The Thinking Lens: Know Yourself
Being Responsible with Our Perspectives

Chapter 10
The Thinking Lens: Making Meaning
Disequilibrium is a Place to Make Camp

Chapter 11
The Thinking Lens: Planning
Our Plans are Queries

Chapter 12
The Thinking Lens: Making Thinking Visible
Telling the Stories that Matter

Chapter 13
Slapstick Literacy and the Music of Friendship: The Thinking Lensin Action
Attention and Generosity

Chapter 14
Voices from the Front Lines: A Call to Reimagine Our Work

Telling a New Story: The Work Begins




About the Authors


ISBN: 978-0-942702-96-5