In his essay, "The Heart of a Teacher," educator Parker Palmer (1997b) examines the themes of identity and community which intersect with similar strains in American philosophy, most notably the transcendentalism of Henry David Thoreau. In this article, I argue that transcendental themes help provide insight into these pedagogical issues of identity and community. In the first part of my article, I draw from several of Thoreau's essays to illustrate the importance of and necessary means to develop and maintain a sense of self. In the second section, I contend that other complementary themes from Thoreau provide a means to connect our internal reflections with the communal nature of our classes.
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