Teacher as prophetic trickster

Educational Theory 59 (1):67-83 (2009)
Abstract
There are a multitude of powerful cultural archetypes and images of the school teacher. These include nurturing caregiver, guardian of morality, champion of the global economy, self‐sacrificing do‐gooder, cultural worker, intellectual, tyrant, and many more metaphors. Jim Garrison’s essay introduces another figure, a mythological persona, to the pantheon of images depicting the school teacher — the Trickster. Tricksters are masters of multiple interpretation that cross, bend, break, and redefine borders. Garrison concentrates on prophetic tricksters that create openings in closed structures to reveal hidden possibilities. In practice, many teachers are tricksters. They know how to maneuver in, around, and through rigid bureaucratic structures and standards to connect with their students and make a difference while exercising creative autonomy in the classroom. Garrison’s essay provides examples of trickster teachers drawn from literature depicting classroom practice
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