ERIC Number: ED431716
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
The Teacher as "Rebbe": Examining the Persistence of Inherited Traditions of Teacher Professionalism as "Not-Yet-Completed Narrative."
This paper explores an alternative hypothesis for the vitality of traditional understandings of teaching. Teachers' strength might be attributed less to the context of their transmission than to their continuing potential for translation as not-yet-completed narratives. The data were generated during the course of a project which elicited accounts from Jewish day school teachers about their lives and work. The paper offers a portrait of a teacher whose narrative not only bears a strong resemblance to what is characterized as an archetype of the teacher-as-Rebbe, but also articulates a significant transformation of that archetype in terms of the gender of its ideal type and in its understanding of the teacher's role in someone else's curriculum. In making evident that traditions of teaching remain vital by generating new literatures of practice, this case points to the appropriateness of pursuing an approach to teacher professionalization founded on a dialectic encounter between the constructions of theory and the embedded knowledge of teachers. This study suggests why a project to professionalize teachers, which until now has shown little evidence of attending to the traditions within which teachers' lives are embedded, will remain flawed until it attempts to understand what teachers and others who work in Jewish schools understand teacher professionalism to be. (Contains 32 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A