ERIC Number: EJ888449
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Hope in the Unexpected: How Can Teachers Still Make a Difference in the World?
Teachers College Record, v112 n2 p386-406 2010
Background/Context: The central role of hope in teaching has long been acknowledged by authors such as Sonia Nieto and Larry Cuban, but hope has received little focused attention from scholars. While books such as David Halpin's Hope and Education and Stephen Fishman and Lucille McCarthy's John Dewey and the Philosophy and Practice of Hope each shed light on one of the dominant views of hope, this article seeks to compare multiple understandings of hope to examine how teachers can find hope in times of global crises that challenge the promise of a better future that is implicit in modern schooling. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: How can teachers find hope in hard times, when the usual promise of schools for a better future seems difficult to sustain? Research Design: This article is an analytic essay. Conclusions/Recommendations: This article concludes that while the long-dominant understandings of hope are inadequate for many teachers at times like these, Arendt's view of the hope that emerges in the unexpected occurrences of classroom life resonates strongly with the most rewarding and hopeful experiences of many teachers. Yet Arendt explains how the hope that teachers experience from these unpredictable and unexpected occurrences is not just a source of immediate reward, but rather contributes to political and social change. The article concludes with an account of Arendt's critique of historians' narratives of social change and an affirmation of the impact that teachers can have as agents of change.
Descriptors: Social Change, Historians, Teacher Role, Classroom Environment, Change Agents, Teacher Attitudes, Educational Philosophy, Teaching Experience, Teacher Influence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A