Prophet or fool? The professional position and role of historians of education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the professional dilemmas of historians of education in the USA. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses historiographical analysis. Findings – While some aspects of both “prophet” and “fool” cultural archetypes fit some historians of education, neither archetype is a useful model for discussing the possible professional positions and roles of new scholars. Instead, “border-crossing” is an appropriate metaphor for new scholars in the history of education. Originality/value – This manuscript addresses a topic of concern to many historians of education in multiple countries. It moves beyond material concerns of intellectuals to discuss the cultural archetypes that may be at play.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-37
Number of pages15
JournalHistory of Education Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural archetypes
  • Historiographical analysis
  • History of education
  • Intellectual history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History


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