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ERIC Number: EJ1096808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
Teachers as Absurd Heroes: Camus' Sisyphus and the Promise of Rebellion
Gordon, Mordechai
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v48 n6 p589-604 2016
Inspired by Camus' portrayal of Sisyphus, this essay examines the act of teaching as an absurd profession, one that faces numerous obstacles and challenges and continually falls short of its intended goals. I begin my analysis by demonstrating that Camus' understanding of the absurd was heavily influenced by Nietzsche's conception of nihilism. I argue that for Camus the sense of absurdity comes from the conflict between humans' longing for order and meaning and the disorder and meaninglessness that we experience in our daily lives. Next, I show that Camus' understanding of absurdity can help us make sense of the recent wave of educational reform. More fundamentally, I argue that that the existential conditions of schooling that many teachers have to negotiate daily are themselves absurd in Camus' sense of the term. In the last part of this article, I take a close look at how a number of teachers are attempting to resist and even rebel against the new educational mandates.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A