The warm and welcoming first session that we had today led me to revisit the emotions of excitement that I felt when I first encountered P4C and at the moments I met new friends in the P4C community along the way since. And when Takayuki mentioned that he questions who he is for his students, I started to wonder who I am inviting my undergraduate students so eagerly to the community of inquiry and why I am here doing such work. As I mentioned, I am conflicted between my belief that P4C and community of inquiry will benefit my students as individuals and as future teachers (and thus benefit their future students) and the fact that this may have caused extra struggles for my students after they graduate.
However, when I read Toby's article after the session and reached p.55, I had to pause. It was because the episode reminded me of one of my brightest former students, who is now struggling yet working hard and strong as a novice teacher. She once mentioned in our circle that, as a child, she used to read the textbook for "Morality" class (we have that as a mandatory class for 1-9 graders here in Japan) like it was the Bible, because she couldn't understand how a good person should act; she was bullied at school and by her family members growing up, and she thought that by acting exactly how it is suggested in the textbook, she would be accepted and loved by others. But sadly, she never was saved by the textbook. Although we did experience a few conflicts among the students in the circle after she joined my seminar due to some comments that she made that didn't show care for others, by the time she shared this story (maybe an year later), she was both a loved and loving member of our community.
And remembering how the seminar became a community that she belongs in, I am now leaning towards thinking that what I am doing for them is for more good than harm. (Eriko)
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