Learning Moments Press
Learning Moments Press is the publishing arm of the Scholar-Practitioner Nexus. This independent press features three series of books:
- The Wisdom of Practice Series showcases the work of individuals who illuminate the complexities of practice as they strive to fulfill the purpose of their profession.
- The Wisdom of Life Series offers insightful reflections on significant events that challenge the meaning of one’s life, one’s sense of self, and one’s place in the world.
- The Social Context Series showcases the work of individuals who illuminate the macro socio-economic-political contexts within which education policy and practice are enacted.
Books listed in this section can be purchased by going to amazon.com. Proceeds from book sales go to support the Scholar-Practitioner Nexus.
Garman, Noreen B. & Piantanida, Maria, Editors. The Authority to Imagine: The Struggle toward Representation in Dissertation Writing (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2018). In this book, scholar-practioners offer alternatives to the five-chapter thesis crafted in the tradition of science reports. As authors of meritorious and award-winning dissertations, they provide insights into the challenging process of conceptualizing interpretive methods of inquiry including narrative, heuristic, social cartography, grounded theory, spiritual inquiry, reflective art-making, and essay writing. Each author explores the interconnections among her ontological leanings and the method, content, and form of her dissertation. The editors frame these exemplars of individual studies within the broader discourses of interpretive inquiry--making a distinction between qualitative reserach grounded in scientific traditions and qualtivtative research grounded in the arts and humanities. This collection is particularly timely as many universities are currently exploring what types of scholarship might best serve educational practitioners pursuing graduate and doctoral degrees. Authority to Imagine
Llewellyn, Marilyn. Spirituality and Pedagogy: Being and Learning in Sacred Spaces (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2017). Those who have been drawn to teaching by the desire to make a diffeence in children's lives will find this book a welcome relief from the unremitting focus on narrow (and often punitive) measures of stantardized achievement, accountability, and compliance. Exploring themes of compassion, faith, and social justice, the author offers--with humility and throughtfulness--an inspiring vision of what teaching can be at its best.
Krakowski, Pamela, Entering a Child's World: Narrative Pedagogy in Early Childhood Art Education (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2022) Drawing inspiration from the mobiles of artist Alexander Calder, Pamela Krakowski explores the challenges of balancing her normative and narrative pedagogical aims. As Dr. Krakowski recounts, "When I first began thinking about normative and narrative pedagogies, I bordered on presenting a false dichotomy between the two. Over time, however, I began to see a dynamic tension between them, because I value both the narrative and the normative. What my students have to say is important, and I have a body of knowledge, skills, and concpets that I believe are important for them to learn." Throughout the book, Dr. Krakowski explores narrative sensibilities that allow her to listen to her students' thoughts, feelings, interests, and concerns. With curiosity, caring, and respect, she is able to enter the children's worlds of imagination and play, interwearving lessons of art and art-making into what matters most to her young students. Entering a Child's World
Logsdon, Marjorie Barrett. A Pedagogy of Authority. (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2017). Marjorie Barret Logsdon, a dedicated teacher of high school English literature and composition, explores the experiences that led to her decision to transform her authoritarian pedagogical practice. Believing that sharing power with students is more conducive to writing-as-process (as opposed to writing-as-product), the author is surprised to encounter resistance, not only from studetns, but within herself. Writing in a genre of the speculative/personal essay, the author challenges her assumptions about "being in autority," "being an authority," and the "authority of students to author texts." Drawing from dreams, memories, and experience, the author weaves a thoughtful and insigtful inquiry into the nuancs of pedagogical authority. Using the metaphor of an alchemist's crucible, she clarifies "matters of text," "matters of time," and "matters of meaning." Regardless of a teacher's field of study, Marge's inquiry offers an inspiring example of how dedicated teachers can inqiry into the nature of their own pedagogical practice.
Milne, Wendy M. Caughey. Professional Learning through Reflective Artmaking: A Pedagogical Portfolio. (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2021). The author privides insights into a process of teacher reflection grounded in aesthetic ways of knowing. Combining sketches, self-critique, and literature from the field of art education, the author explores the mindset she brings to her teaching of element school art. Drawn from her award-winning dissertation, the book comprises a series of "portfolio artifacts," each of which highlights one or more pedagogical dilemmas.
Perkey, Arlyn W. Last Known Alive: The Search for Sgt. First Class Donald L. Sparks, WIA, MIA, POW. (Wisdom of Life Series, 2019). The call of loyalty and the call of friendship compelled the author to investigate the fate of Donald L. Sparks--a Vietnam veteran with the high priority status of Missing in Action-Prisoner-of War-Last Known Alive. Intertwining his own story with that of his friend Don, the author offers a portrait of two naive Iowa farm boys, drafted, sent to Vietnam, and wounded when their squads were ambushed. One returned to the life he had imagined. The other suffered a fate obscured by decades of misinformation, withheld information, and failed communication fostered by bureaucratic protocols and unwarranted paranoia. Last Know Alive pieces together the story of Donald L. Sparks' struggle to stay alive and return to his beloved Iowa home.
Piantanida, Maria. The Oxidation of Grief: Reflectons on Adult Sibling Loss. (Wisdom of Life Series, 2017). The death of an adult sibling precipitates a flood of emotions in the surviving sisters and brothers. Feelings of grief are not easily "gotten over" in neatly ordered stages. Neither are efforts to make sense of the loss and come to terms with an irreparable hole in one's family constellaton. In Part 1 of this book, the author shares her responses to her younger sister's death from renal cancer. Mingled with expressions of grief are the author's struggle with notions of spirituality, faith, belief, and the meaning of life. Part 2 of the book consists of narratives of adult sibling loss. these were crafted from interviews with thirteen men and women who lost one or more siblings under unexpected, catastrophic circumstances, chronic disease, or terminal illness. In sharing both her own reflections and those of others, the author hopes that others may find comfort in knowing they are not alone as they cope withthe death of an adult sibling.
Piantanida, Maria. Reflections on Adoptive Parenting by a Grateful Recovering Know-It-All. (Wisdom of Life Series, 2017). At the age of 38, the author and her husband adopted an 11-year old boy. During the early years of their life together, the author wrote short vignettes about moments that challenged her assumptions about parenting. Many of the vignettes are reflections on ironic discrepancies between actually being a parent and what she had learned from books and courses. Other vignettes reveal more painful confrontations with some of her deepest assumptions about what it means to parent and to love. In the epilogue, the author looks back after more than 30 years as a mother and offers, not advice, but thoughts on several issues she continues to ponder. Reflections on Adoptive Parenting
Piantanida, Maria. A Call to Learning: From Resistance to Engagement. (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2020). When a student who is truly ready to learn meets a teacher who is truly ready to teach, both can embark on an intellectually exciting and emotionally satisfying journey. Deeply engaged learning, however, is demanding--often pushing both learner and teacher to the limits of their abilities. Dwelling in the uncertain space between what is known and what is still to be learned can be fraught with anxiety, an anxiety so great that we erect walls of protective resistance. Through this collection of personal essays, the author reflects on her own resistance to learning and invites readers to do the same. As she moves through the landscape of her life as a student, learner, teacher, and curriculum developer, she explores nooks and crannies in the walls of resistance. In these small spaces lie opportunities for meanginful learning. When students and teachers seize upon these opportunities, both can transcend the limitations of their ritualized roles and journey together toward greter knowledge, understandings, and wisdom.
Piantanida, Maria, Llewellyn, Marilyn J., McMahon, Patricia L. From Moment to Meaning: The Art of Scholar-Practitioner Inquiry. (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2020). This book is grounded in the premise that context-embedded studies can yield important insights into the complexities of educational practice. For Scholar-Practitioners, such inquiries often arise when the routine course of events is disrupted. The resulting disequilibrium precipitates a desire to understand what happened. Gaining such understanding entails a capacity for recollective, introspective, and conceptual reflection. Through a series of Reflective Prompts, From Moment to Meaning encourages educators to cultivate the reflective mindset conducive to careful examination of practice-embedded dilemmas. While most directly applicable to those enrolled in Master’s and doctoral programs, the information in the chapters and scenarios of this book can be used by all thoughtful educators whose practice is enhanced by a commitment to deep learning. By reflecting on lived experience, practitioners can theorize about the significance of evocative moments and thereby contribute to the evolving discourses in the field of education.
Piantanida, Maria, McMahon, Patricia L., Llewellyn, Marilyn. On Being a Scholar-Practitioner: Practical Wisdom in Action. (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2019). This book challenges the traditional dichotomy between practitioners and scholars. Grounded in the concept of praxis--thinking informs action and action informs thinking--this book explores a mindset comprising six qualities that Scholar-Practitioners bring to their work in education. Scholar-Practitioners cultivate a reservoir of Pedagogical Wisdom that guides their decsions and actions. Theoretical Understanding and Contextual Literacy support educators as they work at the intersection of complex social and institutional forces. Embracing the qualities of Ethical Stewardship and Aesthetic Imagination empowers Scholar-Practitioners to advocate for the educational well-being of individuals and the profesion. Through Metacogntive Reflection, Scholar-Practitioners become more than recipients of rational-technical, rule-bound knowledge generated by others; they become sources of wisdom for fulfilling the purpose of education.
For those who want to understand the challenges facing Black Americans as they fought for equality of education, this book offers an intimate look at the struggles within one urban school district. Drawing from archives and interviews with key professionals enaged in the struggle, Ralph Proctor lays bare the institutionalized racism that denied Pittsburgh's Black citizens access to free and equal quality education for well over a century. Read against the backdrop of today's Black Lives Matter movement and the educational inequalities revealed by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear tht the struggle for equality is far from over. Racial Discrimination
Proctor, Ralph, Jr. Song of The Hill: Life, Love, Legacy (Wisdom of Life Series, 2022). Ralph Proctor, Jr. grew up in an extraordinary place and culture known as The Hill in Pittsburgh. He has drawn upon his memories to celebrate a vibrant way of life created by individiuals who would not be defeated by racism. This book offers an intimate look at a time and place that still have lessons to offer as our nation continues its struggle to fulfill its promise of equality for all. Song of The Hill
Proctor, Ralph, Jr. Voices from the Firing Line: A Personal Account of the Pittsburgh Civil Rights Movement, Third Edition (Social Context Series, 2022). This book is a memoir, a tribute, and a eulogy. Ralph Proctor traces his own development from a naive, "color-blind" youth to a militant adocate for equal justice. Adding to his own account are the voices of other leaders in Pittsburgh's civil rights movement. In recording and sharing the experiences of these remarkable mena nd women, Proctor offers a tribute to their pain, courage, and sacrifice. Through numerous examples of covert discrimination, the pervasive Jim Crow culture is revealed along with efforts to overcome barriers to integration. Proctor looks back at the gains achieved and the losses incurred as the movement for equal inclusion waned in the years following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He asks, "Did we do enough?" The question, while posed to his comrades in the fight for justice, is worth asking ourselves today. Voices from the Firing Line
Tananis, Cynthia A., Editor. An Invitation to Study Group: A Collection of Think Pieces. (Wisdom of Practice Series, 2020). The contributors to this edited collection reflect on their experiences as members of a group intent on studying their own practice. In sharing the challenges and rewards of study group participation, the authors hope to encourage others to engage in similarly productive communities of learning. This message is particularly important given current school improvement initiatives that seek to involve educational practiioners in deliberations about hte complexities of teaching and learning. Invitation to Study Group