Reforms in public education have veered towards ‘steady work’ in recent decades (Elmore & McLaughlin, 1988). One reform succeeds another at an increasingly hectic pace. A new, politically correct educational language may substitute an earlier one before field workers have learned the latter. Even the most eager reformers note the ‘considerable evidence that good teachers with a moral purpose become victims of either cynicism or burnout’ because of new demands, promises, and wishes (Fullan, 1993: 54). The situation of a classroom teacher often resembles the famous ‘double bind’ outlined by Gregory Bateson (1972) as a condition for schizophrenia: a person meets such contradictory and diffuse demands that he or she is no longer able to cope with them and becomes ill (cf. LeCompte & Dworkin, 1991).