The following poems are meditations about the growth students experience during the learning process. I utilize trees as an analogy for pedagogical development. References to the outward, circular expansion of trees are analogous to the physical actions performed in a learning task. References to upward growth signify the simultaneous, invisible ascent undertaken by the learner to better understand his or her own identity. The series illustrates a four-part learning cycle. 1) Invitation: I wonder if the moments of curiosity in students is an innate response from within the individual when they sense an informational experience that will fill a pedagogical void. This ‘calling’ to know more is not only about external information (outward growth); it is also to understand a yet undiscovered mystery within themselves (upward growth). 2) Play: In this stage, the student has heeded the invitation to explore a curiosity that has resonated between the external and internal worlds he experiences. I suggest play as one way to make sense of this dual experience of being. Through play, one embodies a story; a primary function of which is to move through being and becoming. 3) Integration: Ultimately, if the student continues to pursue this curiosity, it may give birth to a unique way of synthesizing one’s environment. Externally, this talent may be readily apparent but its purpose is also to discover and integrate the incredible depths within himself. 4) Return: Should the student choose to tread the dark wood and also have proper guidance along the way, he will return as one who has not only mastered the content task at hand but also someone with a greater understanding of his own character. He has descended into the death experience of the unknown and is reborn to a larger experience of himself.
Jensen, Peter. 2022. The Music in the Trees. Obsculta 15, (1) : 72-75. https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/obsculta/vol15/iss1/10.