Background/Context: The ideas of teaching as salvation and teacher-as-martyr are not new concepts. Prior research, however, has largely failed to explore the historical and cultural religious roots that continue to inform the ways in which teachers are constructed. That is, though prior work has engaged with thinking about religion and thinking about teachers as saviors, little work has been done to uncover the hidden curriculum of teaching that positions teachers as versions of Christ in the public school classroom.
Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: Here we highlight the fact that certain elements inherent in the act of public teaching have their roots in Christian, particularly Biblical, thinking. Such connections highlight the religiosity in teaching, regardless of whether a teacher is a Christian believer.
Research Design: The work is an analytic essay, drawing on critical traditions in cultural studies and curriculum theory.
Findings/Results: We illustrate that although we think of teaching as a secular activity and assume that religion has been expunged from public, including teacher, education, the sediments of religion remain present in how the teacher learns to imagine, construct, and enact his or her work as teacher as savior and martyr.