The Cynical Educator

Ansgar Allen


Ground down, disenchanted but committed to education. Unable to quit, yet deploring everything education has become. We suffer a weakened and weakening cynicism. This cynicism exploits the last remaining educational commitments of an otherwise broken workforce, draining that workforce of its final pleasure: Revolt. Our cynicism is reactionary and conditional “exhausting where it might invigorate, rendering complicit, giving safe passage to bad temper“ but can be reclaimed. We need more cynicism, not less. With The Cynical Educator a revived, militant Cynicism affronts us. Drawing on a long history of religious denial and philosophical intrigue, it brings our educational bad faith to the surface. It confronts the educated with the fruit of their conceit.


Ansgar Allen is a Lecturer in Education at the University of Sheffield and the author of Benign Violence: Education in and beyond the Age of Reason.

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