The Tao of Equus

At the end of fall semester, we offered a series of seminar options for our teacher candidates to choose from. I offered a session titled, “The Tao of Equus”. I began with a my offer of the recognition of what might seem out of place in an urban teacher education program to be talking about what, on the surface, appears to be horses. In fact, the session wasn’t really about horses at all, but rather of the insight horses had to offer the urban educator. I set the backdrop of talking a bit about equine assisted therapy and the art of natural horsemanship. That provided the backdrop to talk about this concept of congruence and the critical need for teachers to learn who they are as professionals. I asked participants if they knew themselves. It seemed an odd question, but unless we learn to become comfortable in our teacher skins, we fail in the art of congruence. We are someone else acting through us, in short, not being the real persons we are. Not unlike horses, our students very quickly see through this facade and begin to mirror our discomfort, anxiety, and fear. This concept seemed to resonate among the participants. They shared stories of cooperating teachers that projected calm and confidence and of others that projected disorder. In each case the class responded in kind. They also told stories of their own journey through their emotional selves and the resulting mirroring by their students. I think it is a fascinating concept and one that we have a lot to learn from. Thank you, horses.


About wlindquist

I'm a career educator currently teaching pre-service teachers at Hamline University - Master of Arts in Teaching program. Interested in science education, inquiry-based science, and the intersection of science and literacy.
This entry was posted in Educational Psychology, The Art of Teaching and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Tao of Equus

  1. Pingback: Trust the Process | The Purple Crayon

  2. Pingback: Metaphorical Tradeoffs | The Purple Crayon

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