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Dancing Teachers into Being with a Garden, or How to Swing or Parkour the Strict Grid of Schooling


Gerofsky, S. & Ostertag, J.



Publication type

Artículo de revista




teacher education, garden-based learning, environmental education, grid, Cartesian, ludic, alter-global, embodied, performative, arts-based, swing, parkour


The co-authors, collaborators in garden-based teacher education, question the hegemony of grids in Western time, space and relationship structures in education, while also delving into our own complicity and entanglement with these grids. We ask: (1) Can we reject the grid in environmental education and in garden-based learning when it is an intimate part of our way of being in the world? (2) Can we be teachers who are at once within and not-within the regime of the Western Enlightenment/Modernist grid? (3) How can we take a ludic approach to the grid? Can we ‘swing’ and ‘parkour’ the strict grid of schooling? Pleasures and failures of the grid and experiences of alternatives to the grid are documented and exemplified through stories from garden-based teacher education. Considering parallels with principles of the alter-global movement and with the performative, embodied practices of swing dance, parkour and clowning, we meditate on becoming ecological teachers together beside the grid — neither within nor without it, but with a deep awareness of its presence and structure. In uncertain, unchanging times, we want to take a playful, artistic approach to the old certainties and structures, swinging and parkouring from them rather than accepting or rejecting binary formulations.


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