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                                       ". . .What we have loved
Others will love, and we will show them how."

                                                          William Wordsworth

Michael L. Umphrey - Teaching as Placemaking

Michael L. Umphrey has directed the Montana Heritage Project since its founding in 1995.  His first book, The Lit Window, dealt with the challenges of teaching literature in rural Montana high schools. It was published by the Poetry Center at Cleveland State University.

He attended the MFA program at the University of Montana, where his second book, The Breaking Edge, won the Merriam-Frontier Award. He has given many speeches around the country, such as the Saul O. Sidore Distinguished Lecture on “A New Story for Schooling” at the University of New Hampshire and ”Tinkling Cymbals and Sounding Brass: Hearing the Different Drum” at the MEA Conference in Montana.

“Like gardening, sailing, and politics, teaching is a craft of place. Though gardeners learn quite a lot from botany texts, it is the challenge of raising particular plants in particular places that draws them into lively encounters with books.

“Similarly, good sailors know quite a lot about geography, meteorology, and physics because such knowledge forms the context within which they work and play.

“And good politicians often have heads full of history because such knowledge is a practical necessity.

“If the goal of education is to be able to live well, and I believe it is, then education shouldn’t be divorced from efforts to live well in the particular--that is, local--places the students know.”

Posted by Marcella Sherfy
on 11/28 at 11:19 PM
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