The Idea of a Teacher: Paradigms of Change

Prakesh Kona


The focus of the article is the ‘idea’ of a teacher; not just the proactive role teachers play in inculcating creative traits in students but the meaning of a teacher within an institution. Is the idea of a teacher a dated notion of a paternalistic figure playing the role of transmitter of values from a mainstream social order to students in classrooms who are relearning what has already been given to them within the confines of a home? Have teachers been made redundant in the era of Internet technologies where information along with critical interpretations have taken an impersonal character and students are less inclined to be influenced by one dominant way of thinking? Although information is democratized to include wider sections of people, there is no basis to subscribe to the notion that people are more open-minded than in earlier times. The argument applies to the idea of a teacher as well: while corporatization at a global level has reduced the role of a teacher to teaching what is useful in fulfilling the requirements of the free market, the resistance of students to tailored worldviews is greater than ever before. There are changing paradigms of the idea of a teacher while there are also paradigms of change that teachers could espouse to bring about social and political transformation. My paper deals with the dynamics of imagining such a transformation.


Teaching, Teacher, Paradigm, Radical, Media, Educator, Emancipation

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