This book is thoroughly original work on the meaning of teaching by one who has been widely credited with reshaping the field of religious education in the United States, and to have had a significant effect also in many other countries.
Despite a steady flow of books that have "teaching" in the title, nearly all of them leave out most of the story. In Showing How, Gabriel Moran presents the full story of the act of teaching.
Part 1 establishes a fundamental meaning for "to teach," examining why there exists a deep-seated fear that teaching is an immoral act. Professor Moran then grounds the meaning of "to teach in its most basic forms, moving from examples in the nonhuman world (what the mountain teaches the mountain climber) to communal and nonverbal forms of teaching among humans.
Part 2 explores the languages of teaching and the diverse forms of speech appropriate to teaching; rhetorical forms, including storytelling and preaching; therapeutic languages; and religion'' preservation of these languages in ritualized settings, including confessing and mourning.
Part 3 draws out the implications for education, the school, and the teaching of morality.
Showing How addresses not only schoolteachers but parents, counselors, ministers, administrators, and everyone who can recognize teaching as a fundamental human act. By exposing the root meaning of teaching, the book represents a challenge to any proposals for educational reform.
Gabriel Moran is Professor and Director of Religious Education in the Department of Culture and Communication, New York University. He is the author of sixteen books, including Uniqueness: Problem or Paradox in Jewish and Christian Traditions and A Grammar of Responsibility.
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