What is a teacher?
Remembering the Soul of Education Through Classic Literature
In education today, we talk about what to teach and how to teach, but rarely do we talk about what a teacher is. As a matter of fact, all of the emphasis on the “what” and the latest “how” seems to have conjured an idea of a “teacher” that is relatively unimportant, one of the tools of education, if she is able to follow the manual.
This view of a teacher may serve if the end of education is passing tests or developing marketable skills. However, if the end of education is to nurture able, self-governing citizens, and if the end of a lifetime of learning is ultimately wisdom, something more than a “facilitator” in our classrooms will be required.
In What is a teacher? Remembering the Soul of Education Through Classic Literature, images of teachers from great literature—teachers both good and bad, ancient and modern—will be explored for the purpose of better understanding the challenging and unique role that teachers play in our lives.
From Prometheus to Athena and Aristophanes’ Socrates, from Virgil and Beatrice in the Divine Comedyto the gods who forcefully educate the stubborn baby king in the Mwindo Epic, from authors such as Homer, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Melville, Faulkner, and Toni Morrison, Summer Institute faculty from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture will turn their considerable expertise—both as literary thinkers and as master teachers—to inspire us to think creatively about the significance and the true stature of the teacher.
What is a teacher? Remembering the Soul of Education Through Classic Literature was debuted at the Education Forum, September 6-7, 2013. All profits for the sale of this book go to helping the Dallas Institute provide programming for Pre-K–12 educators and administrators.