Education and The School of Dreams: Learning and Teaching on the Invisible Edge of Reality and Fantasy


  • David Lewkowich University of Alberta


Dreaming, Literature, Psychoanalysis and Curriculum


This paper involves a series of speculations, through literature, on what it might mean for the teacher and student to dwell on the precarious frontier of dreaming, and also, what education is bound to lose if its efforts only allow the immediate qualities of doing and knowing, ignoring the hints of a life that doubles the one we live in the clear of day. I theorize how dreaming may contribute to a theory of education that does not necessarily have to disavow what it cannot read, and what it does not yet understand. I open this paper with a short illustration of the powerful urge to the wakeful and rational, drawn from the pages of comic artist Lynda Barry’s (1992) graphic narrative My Perfect Life. I then explore the creative possibilities of dreaming as found in Laurie Halse Anderson’s (1999) young adult novel Speak, which offers a useful example of a teacher at times encouraging his student’s movement to dream.