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ERIC Number: EJ1043625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: N/A
Troubling Neutrality: Toward a Philosophy of Teacher Ambiguity
Heybach, Jessica A.
Philosophical Studies in Education, v45 p43-54 2014
Who is keeping watch to warn when policies and practices become essentially the same as those used in previous eras to justify the destruction of human beings? This question is asked by author Jessica Heybach, as she describes the etymological roots of the word "neutrality," the social function of teacher as neutral, and its relationship to what she believes is the self-censorship, or the knowing adoption of neutrality as a guiding philosophy that has become common practice and common sense among teachers. Heybach notes that the image of a teacher as neutral is far more complicated than it may first appear, and the issue of teacher neutrality proper prompts teachers to consider the unethical dimension of sacrificing one's freedom, and adopting the suspicious aims of those who claim that neutral is in fact ethical. Rather, she contends, freedom is found through ambiguity and in the choosing associated with subjective crises. Ambiguity freedom is a continual choice, it must be won--each new set of circumstances always demands engagement and inquiry rather than the application of already predetermined outcomes. Educators must be mindful of their perpetual evasion of freedom, their own and the freedom of their students, and begin to imagine a classroom or school where every moment offers a choice to be made.
Descriptors: Ambiguity (Semantics), Educational Philosophy, Comparative Analysis, Ethics, Freedom, Death, Jews, European History, Etymology, Professional Autonomy, Teaching Methods
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site: http://www.ovpes.org/journal.htm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A