Intimacy In The Classroom Setting: A Critical Analysis

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JoAnn Campbell, an assistant professor of English at Indiana University, discusses the role intimacy plays in the classroom setting. Her focus on English A as an introductory writing course displays the extremely combative relationship between recently admitted students and dictatorial professors. Campbell pinpoints the source of this struggle as professors’ resistance to, or even fear of intimacy with the students. This fear can be connected to a need for authority, hence the traditional “hierarchical pedagogy” (Campbell 474) that characterizes the majority of educational institutions. Campbell describes this as the “banking theory of education” in which “a professor’s power and knowledge [is] absolute” (Campbell 475). This leads students…show more content…
The first, and slightly outdated concern is that “fatuous traits would rub off on the teacher” (Campbell 478), that is, the teacher would become less intelligent. The second concern is pivoted on platonic philosophy which recognizes that boundaries must be instituted to combat the inherently erotic aspect of teaching. While these concerns may seem specific to the relationship between female students and male professors, they can easily be extended to male students as they are based in the overall perceived naivety of students and the need to keep proper distance between student and…show more content…
The hierarchical structure that dominates pedagogy today ensures just that. Students are expected to adapt the “humility of a worm” (Campbell 472) in order to successfully develop and portray the correct self, which becomes completely dependent on the opinions of the professor. This is the way in which the self develops when emphasis is placed on judging instead of coaching. The students are judged in light of what Faigley described as the professor’s “unstated cultural definitions of the self” (Faigley

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