This article attempts to extract a few lessons from two years in my life with a “difficult” foster son and to share the effects of these lessons on one's professional life. It addresses issues surrounding the acquisition of language, culture, and identity. The overarching lesson is that learning occurs within a relational setting. Teachers and students share roles and simultaneously question their identities through a process that involves resistance and distraction in order to understand the purpose underlying their participation within this game of learning. Rather than offering a set of insights or practices that can simply transfer into a classroom plan, this article outlines my caretaking experience to stress the pedagogical need for fundamental attitudinal shifts that force us to incorporate spontaneity into our plans and to appreciate the value of others' perspectives, no matter how different they might be from mainstream thinking.
Peter Huk; “The Ocean Is on Fire”: A Pedagogy Based on Chance and Distraction. Pedagogy 1 October 2015; 15 (3): 507–517. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-2917089
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