The resistant educator, the Ministry of Magic and Educational Reform

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The people who resist moves to enhance learning and teaching in higher education are often those who, because of the nature of their resistance, do not participate in workshops or read the educational literature. This means they may be minimally informed, so their criticisms may be suspect, at least in parts. On the other hand, perhaps what they have to say is important. After all, resistance in many areas of knowledge and scholarship has been important in maintaining critical thinking and developing further understanding. But how do we obtain information about the views of the 'resistant educator'? We obtain it through informal dialogue rather than formal research. Rather than dismissing this source because it is not a formal survey or audit, this paper argues that it is valuable to look at the discussions of the resistant educator and consider how they may or may not also inform our evolving learning and teaching practices. The imposition of educational decrees from the Ministry of Magic (Harry Potter) will be used as a model to demonstrate how external imperatives for educational reform and a reliance on documentation can sometimes undermine the spirit of scholarly university education. It is concluded that the resistant educator may serve a valuable purpose in challenging imposed reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalUNSW Compendium of Good Practice in Learning and Teaching
VolumeMarch 2006
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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