John Ryan is an educator and freelance writer. He has taught English in secondary high schools in New South Wales and Western Australia, including in Distance Education. He specialises in education, social justice and cultural studies. His most recent publications, with Baden Offord, are ‘Landscapes of colonial Australian entanglement: authorities, self-definition and cultural pedagogy’, in The Handbook of Space, Place and Law (Elgar, 2021), and ‘Other Echoes in the Garden: Human Rights, Peripheral Vision and Ghosts’, in Activating Cultural and Social Change: Pedagogies of Human Rights (Routledge, 2021).
The paradox of teaching then is that teachers are attempting to create contexts for students to think for themselves, to stay sane in an age of division while operating within an institutional structure designed to create compliant and obedient workers, a goal that is continually reinforced by the state for neoliberal purposes.