The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 3, No 4 (2015)

Conceptualising teachers’ advocacy as comedic trickster behaviour: Implications for teacher education

Mary Rice,Brian Rice


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.



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