Curriculum as Zen: Five Moments Inspired by Aoki


  • Mika Yoshimoto


Avraham Cohen (2008) recalls, "There is an idea in Zen, the Gateless Gate" (91). This paper discusses curriculum-as-lived/living pedagogy in the philosophical context of Zen. Often, second language curriculum is seen as being linear - however language learning goes beyond these categorizations. Inspired by Aoki's (2000) article Locating living pedagogy in teacher 'research': five metonymic moments, I sought an understanding of the conflicts between curriculum-as-planned and curriculum-as-lived.  In Zen, emptiness is crucial to entering a space void of relativity that embraces difference, change and impermanence.  Operating from this space, Hori (1994) suggests we strive to teach without teaching by opening ourselves to the possibilities thriving in our students' voices. Moved by Aoki's moments, I observe my own five moments of Zen.  In a practical reality, we face unending questions.  Zen might offer a peaceable suspension of this problem.

Author Biography

Mika Yoshimoto

Mika Yoshimoto is an Instructor III of Japanese Language in the School of Linguistics and Language Studies at Carleton University.