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Zen and the Practice of Teaching English

This book represents the first serious attempt by an educator to combine the practice of teaching English with fundamental principles of Zen in an effort to help teachers achieve a new perspective on their professional lives. It is a personal book based on personal knowledge, inviting readers to consider the possibility that the foundations of teaching practice are the very foundations of life and that life inside and outside the classroom is more like one life than two.

Zen and the Practice of Teaching English originates in Robert Tremmel's struggles as a teacher and teacher educator. His book...

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This book represents the first serious attempt by an educator to combine the practice of teaching English with fundamental principles of Zen in an effort to help teachers achieve a new perspective on their professional lives. It is a personal book based on personal knowledge, inviting readers to consider the possibility that the foundations of teaching practice are the very foundations of life and that life inside and outside the classroom is more like one life than two.

Zen and the Practice of Teaching English originates in Robert Tremmel's struggles as a teacher and teacher educator. His book reaches out and rests on three important grounding points that define his life as a teacher:

  • school, because everything the author has to say is based on his daily work with students, student teachers, and secondary teachers
  • professional knowledge, because Tremmel believes no one can live fully as a professional without maintaining contact with and participating in ongoing conversations with other professionals
  • spiritual practice, which is connected in this book to teaching practice and all the practices of living.
Preservice teachers will come away from this book with a clearer understanding of their decision to teach, and the disciplines and abilities they must cultivate for a solid beginning. Experienced teachers will gain a deeper appreciation of their own commitment and accomplishments, and a renewed sense of fellowship with their colleagues throughout the profession. As Tremmel writes, "My purpose in writing this book is not to add to what I see as an already more than healthy and growing supply of scholarship about teaching. Instead, I want to focus on what I finally found in my own teaching practice that helped me start making sense of the confusion that was my own, but that I know is felt also by others who have teaching in their blood."

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