Teacher And Authority Analysis

1335 Words 6 Pages
Speaking in general about the relationship between authority and school, Giroux and MacLaren (1986) put it in this way: “Authority is inescapably related to a particular vision of what schools should be” (p. 224). Voices for liberal education and egalitarianism have led to the collapse of teacher authority. Neither the conceptualisation of “teacher as an authority” nor reconceptualisation of “teacher in authority” can ensure the equality of intelligence between the teacher and students. Neill (1995) articulates that in order to promote students’ freedom, we should reject any type of authority in education. However, from my point of view, this tends to end abruptly with a rush conclusion, since the authority of subject
…show more content…
In Paolo Freire’s famous work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, he contends that “the teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his or her own professional authority” (Freire, 1996, p. 54). It has to be admitted that Freire successfully attacks the traditional construction of teacher authority, which has shed some light on differentiating teacher authority from the authority of subject matter, but leaves the readers with questions regarding the essential features. Teacher under the authority of the subject matter entails an equity-oriented pedagogy. In that case, there is only one intelligence and the teacher shares the same intelligence with students. Teachers’ explanation of the subject matter is no longer seen as the most authoritative interpretation. The main task of the teacher is to draw students’ attention to the authority, which is the established subject matter. Whilst the teacher and students have equal intelligence, students may lack adequate willpower to use their intelligence for the inequality at the level of will (Rancière, 1991). Teachers are able to guide students to focus on the subject matter because they have already been initiated, not because they are more intelligent than …show more content…
To conclude, “teacher as an authority” is a stultifying master who exercises his or her superior power, and “teacher in authority” is a facilitator who fosters students’ intelligence to use freedom. It has been discovered that these two constructions of teacher authority fail to ensure the equality of intelligence between the teacher and students. However, “teacher under authority” of the subject matter is an emancipatory master who acts if students are his or her equals. In speaking of “teacher under authority”, teachers are comfortable with the abandonment of their own authority in order to make an emancipatory leap forward. They are willing to see what might happen if they perform a true emancipatory gesture accordingly. To make a leap, “it is not clear where exactly one will be landing and, even, if there will be a (safe) landing at all” (Vlieghe & Ramaekers, 2014). However, it does not matter whether or not the construction of “teacher under authority” of the subject matter will be landed safely with guarantee of effectiveness or success in the end. The important point is that it makes us stop at the directions of “teacher as an authority” and “teacher in authority”, and start to think about moving in an emancipatory direction in the time of liberal education. “Teacher under authority” bears the emancipation of students in mind,

Related Documents