Defining the authentic teacher
The impetus behind the writing of this dissertation came out of informal interviews held with teachers about their actual practice of teaching. What these interviews revealed was that teachers teach in a kind of "muddledness" and confusion. Mainly this dissertation aims to define a way of being in teaching that gives teaching shape and direction. The theoretical understanding underlying the research of the dissertation is based in metaphysics and existential thought. Specifically, the content is focussed on the concept of authenticity. Authenticity has particular meaning in philosophical thought. For an understanding of the existential meaning of authenticity I have turned to European philosophy and the thinking of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Sartre. For an understanding of how authenticity in its existential sense relates to the profession of teaching and being a teacher I explore the thinking of six contemporary Anglo-American educational theorists: William Pinar, Mary Warnock, Nel Noddings, Max van Manen, Maxine Greene, and Dwayne Huebner. Through a form of hermeneutics and reflective critical analysis I explore how authenticity is valued in the thinking of each of these six educational theorists. Drawing on the thoughts and insights offered by these selected authors I construct my own model of authenticity in teaching in the conclusion of the dissertation in an approach that I call "the multifacetted Janus face of authenticity." The dissertation is framed in the language of literature, which supports the methodology. Specifically it is the writings of Virginia Woolf that are used to formulate this investigation into the meaningfulness of teaching.