Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter Taylor


This paper extends the notion of lifelong learning beyond gaining knowledge over a lifetime to preparing oneself to teach what has been learned to others. The "Teaching Mind," as I define the idea, involves thinking about what has been learned and what one knows by reconsidering that knowledge through the eyes of self as a teacher. The Teaching Mind assumes a broad notion of teaching that relates to informal and community learning across all areas of life and culture, beyond professional teaching in formal schools. The pursuit of the Teaching Mind is highly accessible to all those who wish to expand their personal and organizational participation in lifelong learning, and four qualities constitute this possibility: it is inclusive of all people across varied personal and professional situations who are not necessarily professional teachers but have diverse motivations to learn to teach; it is communal such that it is explored in the company of others; it is expansive to allow meanings of teaching and learning that are outside of conventional understanding; it is familiar by using natural, flexible ways of behaving and communicating to support learning about teaching while welcoming experimentation, enjoyment, ambiguity, and humor into the process. In the active process of engaging with others to explore the Teaching Mind, face-to-face group forums are essential, as one's progress in relation to the Teaching Mind necessarily involves sharing reflections, ideas, and questions with others in a focused way within a conducive environment. I present a collection of fundamental principles for orienting a group of lifelong learners to engage in the pursuit of the Teaching Mind together. Further, I offer a model that outlines how a group might initiate a Teaching Mind exploration in a specific, practical way; this model can be adapted by groups of private individuals or sponsoring organizations to their own interests. The core of the model is a cycle of reflecting upon past experiences, engaging with others to interpret reflections and expose new insights, and imagining how this new understanding informs future teaching possibilities.


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