'Destroying' the pedagogical imaginary: implications of sexual difference for educational philosophy

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This chapter discusses teacher identity from a historical view, tracing the complexities of the gendering of teacher identities in western societies. It also investigates some of the antecedent conditions underlying the imputation of autonomy within conceptions of ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’. The chapter links the history of those concepts with the separate roles and functions assigned to males and females in specific instances of educational practice. ‘Teaching’ and ‘learning’ are psychoanalysed as images and symbols that have frequently been used in a neutral, asexuate sense. Dorothy Gardiner recounts the work of Margaret Vernon, a nun and educational administrator in sixteenth-century England. The images we hold of nuns as celibate serve phallic purposes as easily as do those of ‘whores’ as repositories of phallic desire. So long as female teachers were nuns, a semblance of sex-neutrality had been relatively easy to maintain, owing to the associations available between the clergy and chastity, celibacy, and so forth.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeminist Theory in Diverse Productive Practices
Subtitle of host publicationAn Educational Philosophy and Theory Gender and Sexualities Reader
EditorsLiz Jackson, Michael A. Peters
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429024146
ISBN (Print)9780367109837
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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