Love and work: a reading of John Williams’ Stoner

Ethics and Education 12 (2):233-242 (2017)
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This article offers a close reading of the novel Stoner by John Williams. Stoner, and not the countless reports and jeremiads on teaching, helps us find what we are searching for: a way to live – and talk about – teaching in a dignified and artful way. We need to seek out voices that remind, recall and reveal teaching for the beautifully lovingly difficult work that it is. We need more voices like the one Williams provides in Stoner as we work at teaching, teacher education and educational reform. When we think about educational policy related to teaching, we must remember that philosophical readings of literature have much to offer our thinking. My hope is that this essay turns our attention back to Stoner while encouraging us to see the potential that literature holds for how we think about teaching. Though a more superficially uplifting book may initially feel like the right book to keep teachers excited to teach, I find that Stoner is the work that I keep returning to as a check against demoralization and a reminder of what living teaching means.



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Democracy and Education.John Dewey - 1916 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.
Meaning in Life and Why It Matters.Susan Wolf - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Markus Rüther).Susan Wolf - 2011 - Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 64 (3):308.
Democracy and Education.J. E. Creighton - 1916 - Philosophical Review 25 (5):735.

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