Gardener Metaphor of Teaching curriculum, the garden is primarily a social construct that reflects the intent of the maker and the prevailing cultural ideologies of the time. The lived experiences of the person within both curriculum and garden are a synthesis of orchestrated and phenomenological experiences. The garden and the curriculum employ a common interpretive stance by referencing the artistry of creation within an aesthetic of experience. Within this hermeneutic relationship lies the potential for moving dreams and visions from private contemplation to public interpretation. Gardens, like curriculum, can be rigorously planned, plucked and nurtured, leaving as little as possible to happenstance; alternatively, they can be wild, left completely to nature. The garden and curriculum invite participation through physical movement, intellectual engagement and creative imagination. At their best, each can awaken the senses, provide delight, evoke love; at their worst, each provokes hatred, prejudice and terror. Spinning a web of meaning between curriculum and gardens, I hope to generate compassion for a re-imagined curriculum that welcomes dreams and visions: a curriculum that honours the senses, that engages our bodies; and a curriculum that connects to ourselves, our communities and to the earth.


The similarity between curriculum and garden occurs because they are both mimetic constructions based on nature and natural forms of knowing. According to Jameson (1991), simulacrum is “the identical copy for which no original ever existed” (p. 18). Therefore, as fabrications of natural and cultural ecologies, the garden and the curriculum exist as simulacra. These idealized interpretations of nature and culture are potentially “powerful settings for human life, transcending time, place and culture” (Francis & Hester 1995, p.2). Our romance with the simulacra of gardens and of curriculum reference our human desire to connect with self and with nature.


...through trial and error, a learner can discover the optimum way to individualize knowledge through actions which will initiate personally desired outcomes. Therefore, in its best constructions curriculum mimics natural forms of learning through experiential learning modes which encourage individualized interpretations of knowledge and environment. The fluidity of this form of curricular model allows for the flourishing of spontaneous growth. However, curriculum can also distort natural forms of learning through organizationally institutionalized, constrained modes of education; just as in some gardens where the processes of nature are deliberately arrested as the gardener imposes monocultural order by weeding out all diverse forms.


Folksonomies: education metaphor teaching curriculum

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Jameson:Person (0.995977 (positive:0.443584)), Francis:Person (0.898048 (positive:0.327689)), Hester:Person (0.885732 (neutral:0.000000))

Garden (0.937238): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Gardening (0.894746): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Perception (0.847969): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Nature (0.816488): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Knowledge (0.816486): dbpedia | freebase
Learning (0.709248): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Epistemology (0.691348): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Philip K. Dick (0.651554): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 The Garden as Metaphor for Curriculum
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Baptist, Karen Wilson (2002), The Garden as Metaphor for Curriculum, Teacher Education Quarterly, Fall 2002, Retrieved on 2015-02-19
Folksonomies: education metaphor


17 FEB 2015

 Evolving Learners: Education as Artificial Selection

If brains learn by pruning neurons that serve no purpose, the educators are pruners/encouragers of neurons. We should look at them as artificially selecting neurons in students.