prioritizes her ideas of education to transform above education to become a worker, her
agency, the way she sees the world and makes decisions about it, becomes transparent.
This view of how leadership and higher education can be linked to a larger understanding
of how agency is important, as more than just an individualist characteristic, but as
something that is in our schools, our companies, and other social institutions.
Felman argues, much like Giroux (2002), that education is more than getting a
job. Thus, leadership is more than the person in charge working toward a set of small,
circumscribed ends. This understanding of agency and leadership continues to push back
on the idea that “leadership industry is dedicated to searching for a savior” (Kellerman,
2012, p. 181). Looking for one leader to save us all is a problematic notion. The
necessity of this complex critique becomes apparent because the idea that one person can
fix all that is wrong does not take into account social context and multiple ways of being.
Rather than being a savior, Felman (2001) shares agency with her students. By
refusing to assume she is the only one in the room with knowledge about the subjects
being taught, Felman (2001) shows how “space is created for student agency” (p. 187).
By creating space for students to share their knowledge she shifts power. The teacher-
student dynamic is questioned and possibilities appear in her classroom. These ideas link
to bell hooks’ (1994) Teaching to Transgress where her feminist classroom, much like
Felman’s, is a place students “seek to enter… because they continue to believe that there,
more than any other place in the academy, they will have an opportunity to experience
education as the practice of freedom” (hooks, 1994, p.15). Power and agency are talked
about, pushed back upon, and questioned so that teacher and student alike feel the
classroom as “a space where we’re all in power in different ways” (hooks, 1994, p. 152).
Previous Page Next Page