chapter  5
13 Pages

The teacher’s place in society

Historically, elementary teaching has often been the only avenue open to the working class if more than a cursory education was desired. As more and more women go out to work, there is a tendency to 'offload' many of the former family socializing tasks onto the teacher. The notions of diffuseness and affectivity are important, however, for they enable us to categorize some of the main types of teaching as well as telling us something about the teacher's position outside the classroom and in it. Put differently, in any complex industrial-technical society, teachers become a social necessity, since the diffusion of basic skills, such as literacy, and the provision of technocrats are of prime importance for the nation's survival. The very diffuseness of the teacher's task means that to society in general it may seem non-expert, less urgent and not very dramatic.