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ERIC Number: EJ859096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 30
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8204
Priest, Prostitute, Plumber? The Construction of Teachers as Saints
Carter, Catherine
English Education, v42 n1 p61-90 Oct 2009
Teachers are never free from metaphor. Whether or not they consciously design and choose their own comparisons, teachers' work is continually constructed in metaphorical terms, perhaps more so than any other profession. Like Kristy, whose course of study was determined by a television ad lasting less than a minute, teachers and potential teachers are inevitably influenced by popular culture constructions of what they do. The predominant cultural metaphors about teaching--teacher as saint, teacher as clergy, teaching as religious vocation--reflect the external conditions of English teachers' lives, such as pay, work conditions, and community perception of teaching, and may also help to shape those conditions. In this article, the author reminds educators that "metaphor is not a decorative adornment to language, but a central mode of thought, both reflecting and affecting concepts of the world and actions in it" as she examines the metaphors that construct teaching and both reflect and perpetuate the conflicted nature of the work. (Contains 8 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A