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The Tao of Teaching: Epilogue

This series has consisted of reflections on Greta Nagel’s book The Tao of Teaching: The Ageless Wisdom of Taoism and the Art of Teaching. It has focused on sharing the wisdom and guidance from this book and connecting it to my own personal anecdotes and experiences. My goal was to promote discourse on topics related to teaching, classroom management, student-centered learning and other progressive educational methods and their relation to the wisdom of Taoism.

I did not follow an exact nor chronological order based on Nagel’s book but chose to discuss the pieces of wisdom and overall themes that were most meaningful and useful to me (see below for an index of the posts in this series). I often discussed, in one installment of this blog, sections of the book that I felt were related to common themes but were not necessarily close by way of page number in Nagel’s book.

Some of the overarching themes and their relation to teaching and learning that were discussed in this blog series include: humility, self-discipline, contentment, balance, flexibility, consistency, virtue, application, democracy, diversity, attention and receptiveness.

Obviously, I did not share all of the wisdom found within the book. I believe to do so would not be fair to Greta Nagel nor to the Tao. Nagel also touches on themes and issues related to moderation, frugality, forthrightness and compassion, competition, confrontation and many more.

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In the spirit of self-directed learning, I hope that this series will encourage you to seek out this book and delve deeper into its wisdom for yourself. Click the links below to get started.

Find The Tao of Teaching here.

Learn more about Greta Nagel here.


Below is an index of the 10 parts to my series of reflections on this book. Please explore and gain from the wisdom of the Tao as I have.

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Part 1:

The Way is Nameless

“The wise teacher does not choose to give a name to his or her style of teaching…”


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Part 2:

Silence is a Virtue

“Good teaching can take few words.”


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Part 3:

Application Breeds Learning: Dig Deeply

“When the Tao is applied, its depths have no end.”


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Part 4:

Do Not be Authoritarian

“Provide guidance but do not expect students to rely on you.”


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Part 5:

Do Not See Things in Black and White

“The context and culture make a difference.”


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Part 6:

Take Your Time; Be Attentive and Receptive

“The Tao does not always deal with measurable, observable phenomena.”


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Part 7:

Be Humble; Teach the Wholeness of Things

“Humility on your part enables unity in the classroom.”


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Part 8:

Discipline Yourself Before Trying to Discipline Others

“The weak and tender and can overcome the hard and strong.”


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Part 9:

Obey Your Instincts

“Growing in the Tao means decreased effort.”


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Part 10:

The Way Cannot Be Mastered

“There is no glory in victory.”