International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 9 Number 2

February 17, 2008

Teacher as Performer:
Unpacking a Metaphor in Performance Theory and Critical Performative Pedagogy

Monica Prendergast
University of British Columbia, Canada
Citation: Prendergast, M. (2008). Teacher as performer: Unpacking a metaphor in performance theory and critical performative pedagogy. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 9(2). Retrieved [date] from
This survey paper explores the interdisciplinary literature of performance theory and critical performative pedagogy in an attempt to consider metaphorical applications of performance to pedagogy. This exploration involves looking at teaching as performance in the broadest cultural sense of the word - interested more in efficacy of communication and mutual empathetic understanding - than in the more commonly-held economic, technological and political senses of performance which are more interested in setting, raising, and maintaining standards of efficiency and effectiveness (see McKenzie, 2001). In examining these issues in both performance studies and education, the conclusions are that educational researchers and teacher educators can benefit significantly from a critical awareness of the proliferation of metaphors for teaching as performance that highlight both aesthetic and socio-political challenges inherent in a life in the classroom.

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