The philosophical foundations of discipline

Monday, 27 July 2015

What is clear in reviewing the different theorists of classroom discipline is that for the most part they are all addressing different aspects of human behavior for the ultimate purpose of creating a positive learning environment, which is why a strong argument can be made that each theorist is simply highlighting a different side of an infinitely-sided die. This is in part due to the schizophrenic nature of educational theory in general, but also speaks to the historical moment we are currently experiencing, where the individual and collective socio-cultural and economic realities are driving a great deal of the shift in students’ behavior. Because human behavior is to a large extent environmentally mediated, it is not surprising to see constant shifts in philosophy and approach about what are the most effective ways to create a cooperative learning environment.

Over the years, classroom discipline has been influenced in a number of ways by various theorists, creating a hodgepodge of philosophical approaches that all seem to agree on at least one fundamental point: (more…)


The Tao of Relationships: The 4 Laws of Dynamic Equilibrium

Yin Yang Theory, illustrated by the familiar Taiji symbol below, seeks to explain the duality, polarity, and dynamic harmony of the physical, mental, and spiritual forces within the universe. These forces affect everything in the universe, manifest and latent, including the expression of the energies between men and women. Fundamental to Yin Yang Theory, and by extension the relationship between men and women, are The 4 Laws of Dynamic Equilibrium, which illustrate  how the energies of yin and yang interact with one another. The characteristics of the Yin energy include:  female, moon, passive, negative, darkness, earth, water, softness, moisture, night-time, downward seeking, slowness, cold. The characteristics of Yang energy include: male, sun, active, positive, brightness, heaven, fire, hardness, dryness, day-time, upward seeking, restless, hot. (more…)


the awakening

An interlocution between teacher and student about what it means to teach social justice within the context of the study of history, government, and ethics.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Student: What is teaching?
Teacher: It is the act of deconstruction and transgression between teacher and student.

Student: What is its purpose?
Teacher: Knowledge that leads to growth, expansion of awareness, and action, i.e., wisdom.

Student: What does teaching social justice mean?
Teacher: Teaching social justice means teaching and speaking to the historical moment, it means exploring the “mechanisms of power which establish inequality, through the systematic analysis of political discourse,” and contextualizing that moment within the arc if history.1 Teaching social justice begins with throwing oneself, and later your students, into an epistemological and existential crisis where everything you think you know about who and what you are needs to be deconstructed then reconstructed from the ground up (more…)



The true purpose of practice is not attainment, but the purification of the mind and body, so that the true Self can express itself.

Monday, 22 June 2015

The student asks the teacher, “Why do we have to practice every day?” “Why do we have to do the same thing, over and over again?” The teacher responds, “So that you can forget what you have learned.”

And so it is that we practice every day in order to learn to forget what we have learned. This appears at first to be a dichotomy, but if one looks closer, we come to understand that it is not. We create the structure and discipline of a daily practice in order to transcend this framework. Over time, the need for discipline and structure falls away, for you are no longer exerting control. The need for control is relinquished and replaced by (more…)



Un-Americans: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Colonial Perspective

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Let me begin by stating emphatically that it is un-American to call or accuse anyone of being un-American. Nowhere is being un-American as rampant as it is in America. Being un-American isn’t to be confused with being anti-American – the former being a state of not being American, the latter being a person who is against America. In order to fully understand this phenomenon, we must ask some fundamental questions that (more…)