teachers as gardeners: thinking, attentiveness and the child in the community of philosophical inquiry.

patricia mary hannam


Biesta raises questions about the relationship between thinking and education. He wonders whether there are dimensions of education that cannot occur through the advancement of thought alone. In this paper I consider this prospect in relation to the community of philosophical enquiry and also take up Biesta's comment about liking gardens in schools. This is not in order to assert a particular analogy between gardens and gardening and the school and teaching, but rather to explore the possibility of there being practical resemblances between the existence of a garden and the human activity of gardening, and how a school should exist and the kinds of activities taking place in schools. By the close of this short paper I will have opened for further discussion the possibility that there may be some resemblances between what teachers and gardeners need to do, for example the attentiveness to uniqueness as well as creative forces outside human control. I show there is already an awareness of these concerns present in Anne Sharp’s writing and close by discussing the implications for this in terms of the role of the teacher in the community of philosophical inquiry.


thinking; education; attention; uniqueness,

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12957/childphilo.2017.29987


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