This chapter explores the possibility of a rapprochement between educational criticism and nurturance. Whatever educational aim or metaphor one chooses- initiation, growth, development, empowerment, enhanced freedom, responsible citizenship, and so on- the teacher's job is to help the student "learn," to contribute to the student's own "progress." The tasks of teaching require us to make real demands upon students, to hold them to standards of achievement; to expect otherwise is to underrate the teaching function and to over-romanticize the teacher-student relationship. Teachers are no longer the sole source of either nurturance or criticism. With respect to criticism, teachers are more likely to serve as "last resort" resources, the experts who are turned to when students have taken their work as far as they can go with each other. For most people criticism tends to elicit defense mechanisms, to result in resentment and antagonisms, and to siphon off energy into defensive maneuvers.