The Teacher as Silenced Superhero
In this essay I argue that social ideals create an imaginary that inspires self-discipline in beliefs, thinking, and practices in order to achieve social-utopian hopes that the world will improve in particular ways. As such, social ideals limit human agency in general, and, for teachers in particular, there is limited terrain in which they have the right to speak. As a substitute for their right to speak, I argue, teachers are given the token social status of superhero, a fantasy consistent with neoliberal styles of thought. Following Pinar’s notion of art-as-event, I propose that deep engagement in the arts might be a means of restoring agency and voice to teachers; I argue that art troubles the strong socialization motif in education and creates intellectual room for the development of genuinely educational moments in schooling.