chapter
9 Pages

What’s in It for Me?

The contradiction with education is that in order to teach, one must obscure. The typical

classroom aims to create a neutral space of reflection, and to achieve this, other determinants-

social, political, and economic-are set aside. To create the conditions for teaching, the

classroom is severed from the exterior world to delay the realities of everyday life; but for those

of us who stand in front of the classroom, it is clear that the realities of social injustices,

market forces, and the stratification of daily life, far from being purged, are actually contained

within it. Education is the field most vulnerable to the whims of political and economic reform,

and in fact the reproduction of essentially the same reality that education aims to temporarily

suppress is incarnated in the classroom and within each student. Every teacher has a tale to tell

of the grievances he or she faces within a profession that forces teachers to make material and

philosophical negotiations-to produce evidentiary results that often estrange them from their

educational intentions and ideals.