The conception of a comedic hero as a trickster functions as a useful trope for evaluating the attempts teachers make as advocates in schools. The specific elements of the trope that the authors find useful are (a) comedy as a space where the absurd mingles with the tragic; (b) resurrection or bringing forward from the dead as major plot device; and (c) the goal of societal integration. These elements of the comedic trickster trope are used to interpret three narratives of teacher advocacy in a junior high school. By analysing these narratives of advocacy in the frame of the comedic trickster, the authors argue that current teacher education practices described in research literature provide little guidance for how teacher candidates moving into school systems can develop and proactively maintain a stance of advocacy in their interactions with students and colleagues. Teacher candidates are not being prepared to handle absurdity, tragedy, resurrection, or the integration of students. Further, the authors assert practicing teachers who engage in advocacy in the frame of a comedic trickster are in danger of succumbing to an ironic plotline where they are unable to do what they want to and know they should. Acknowledging the presence of comedic tricksters might open up spaces for practicing teachers to write new stories of themselves as advocates and avoid the entrapment of irony.
Athanases, S. & Martin, K.J. (2006). ‘Learning to advocate for educational equity in a teacher credential programme’. Teaching and Teacher Education 22 (6), pp. 627–646.
Athanases, S. & Oliveira, L.C. (2007). ‘Conviction, confrontation, and risk in new teachers’ advocating for equity’. Teaching Education 18 (2), pp. 123–136.
Baquedano-López, P., Alexander, R. A. & Hernandez, S. J. (2013). ‘Equity issues in parental and community involvement in schools: What teacher educators need to know’. Review of Research in Education 37 (1), pp. 149–182.
Bartolomé, L. I. (2004). ‘Critical pedagogy and teacher education: Radicalising prospective teachers’. Teacher Education Quarterly 31 (1), pp. 97–122.
Buendía, D. (2000). ‘Power and possibility: The construction of a pedagogical practice’. Teaching and Teacher Education 16 (4), pp. 147–163.
Brophy, J. & Good, T. L. (1994). Looking in Classrooms. New York, NY: Harper Collins.
Catapano, S. (2006). ‘Teaching in urban schools: Mentoring pre‐service teachers to apply advocacy strategies’. Mentoring & Tutoring 14 (1), pp. 81–96.
Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (1990). ‘Stories of experience in narrative inquiry’. Educational Researcher 19 (5), pp. 2–14.
Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (1995). Teachers’ Professional Knowledge Landscapes. New York: Teachers College Press.
Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Jossey Bass.
Clandinin, D., Pushor, D. & Murray-Orr, A. (2007). ‘Navigating sites for narrative inquiry’. Journal of Teacher Education 58 (1), pp. 21–35.
Cummins, J. (2000). Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children Caught in the Crossfire. Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
Engeström, Y. (2001). ‘Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualisation’. Journal of Education and Work 14 (1), pp. 133–156.
Erikson, E. H. (1994). Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: WW Norton Press.
Fisher, W. R. (1984). ‘Narration as a human communication paradigm: The case of public moral argument’. Communications Monographs 51 (1), pp. 1–22.
Frye, N. (2002). ‘The argument of comedy’, in Richardson, B. (ed.), Narrative Dynamics: Essays on Time, Plot, Closure, and Frames, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, pp. 102–109.
Frye, N. (1957). Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Hamel, F. L. & Jassko-Fisher, H.A. (2011). ‘Hidden labour in the mentoring of pre-service teachers: Notes from a mentor teacher advisory council’. Teaching and Teacher Education 22 (2), pp. 434–432.
Hanrahan, J. K. (2003). ‘Truth in action: Revitalising classical rhetoric as a tool for teaching oral advocacy in American law schools’. BYU Education & Law Journal 1, pp. 299–338.
Hansen, G.P. (2001). The Trickster and the Paranormal. Philadelphia, PA: Xlibris.
Howe, H. (1986). ‘The prospect for children in the United States’. Phi Delta Kappan 68 (4), pp. 191–196.
Kelly, T. E. (1986). ‘Discussing controversial issues: Four perspectives on the teacher’s role’. Theory & Research in Social Education 14 (2), pp. 113–138.
Loughran, J. & Northfield, J. (1996). Opening the Classroom Door: Teacher, Researcher, Learner. London: Falmer.
Norquay, N. & Robertson-Baghel, M. (2011). ‘Embracing advocacy: How visible minority and dominant group teachers take up issues of equity’. Brock Education 21 (2), pp. 65–84.
Priyadharshini, E. (2012). ‘Thinking with trickster: Sporadic illuminations for educational research’. Cambridge Journal of Education 42 (4), pp. 547–561.
Putnam, R. D. (2001). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Rice, M. (2009). ‘A narrative inquiry self-study of advocacy by an educator with multiple roles’. Brock Education 18 (2), pp. 16–28.
Roberts, J. L. & Siegle, D. (2012). ‘If not you — who? Teachers as advocates’. Gifted Child Today 35 (1), pp. 58–61.
Vevea, B. (2010). ‘School funds don’t match teacher layoffs’. September 23. Journal Sentinel. Available online: http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/103590969.html [Accessed on 8 April 2014].
Walker, D. (2010). ‘Education reform: It’s up to us’. August/September. NEA Today. Available online: http://www.nea.org/home/40372.htm [Accessed on 8 April 2014].
Wilson, W. (1990). ‘In praise of ourselves: Stories to tell’. BYU Studies 30 (1), pp. 5–34.
Wyatt, S. (2005). ‘Awakening the trickster’. Paper presented at the First International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, 5–7 May. Available online: http://www.iiqi.org/C4QI/httpdocs/qi2005/papers/wyatt3.pdf [Accessed on 18 August 2015].
Zeichner, K. (2003). ‘The adequacies and inadequacies of three current strategies to recruit, prepare, and retain the best teachers for all students’. The Teachers College Record 105 (3), pp. 490–519.