03 SES 14 A, Teacher Education and Curriculum: Discourse, Policy, Practice (Part I)
Symposium Part I, to be continued in 03 SES 15
This paper aims to (re)connect teacher education with local communities. The pandemic exacerbated already ongoing crises: public education ravaged by teacher shortages, relatively poor compensation, and increasingly difficult working conditions. It is a political and cultural problem of utmost concern in the United States context. Revitalizing the professional learning communities between higher education, neighborhoods, and government is needed in order to address these chronic problems. But teacher education discourse too often reflects a certain stagnation. This paper will analyze teacher education discourse, using on discursive analysis, and will also provide insights as available concerning community needs for excellent teachers. Curriculum discourse (Price & Castner, 2020) has suggested that a language of education needs to be developed that empowers neighborhoods to be not only more connected with their schools, but further still with their universities, and vice versa. Indeed, when we “reconceptualize” curriculum (Pinar, 2004), we might also reconceptualize communities and imagine them as friends, as potential curriculum thinkers and developers for knowledge accumulation, generation and dissemination. We might begin to think differently about the discourse of teacher education. All communities may learn, and this includes the professional learning communities of curriculum, educational policy, and teacher education. Higher education is increasingly interested in “community engagement”; schools are also reconceptualizing civic education (Schmidt and Price, 2020). But teacher education discourse must first review its foundations, and as needed, change, coalesce around the different communities with their different discursive formations and structures. American teacher education is at this current moment in its professional evolution aspiring to embrace two different discourses: instrumental and critical. Previous work describes this condition of instrumentality and criticality, respectively, of “teaching core practices” (Grossman, 2018) “benevolent instrumentality” (Price, 2019) and “culturally sustainable pedagogy” (Paris, 2017). Prevailing literature places more emphasis on clinical practice, sometimes “critical” clinical-based practice, (Zenkov, 2019), arguing that this pedagogical move represents a “pivot” in focus for the profession (AACTE, 2018). In an instrumental sense, teacher education engagement with communities is often reduced to procedures and practices that align with technically rational roles and ends. I contribute to this symposium using a critical curricular perspective: • How have teacher shortages across the USA driven teacher education policy and impacted or “reformed” teacher education? • What is the promise and pitfall of professional teacher education embracing at the same time the discourses of instrumentality and criticality? • How might local discourses contribute to developing professional learning communities, change teacher education?
American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). (2018). A pivot toward clinical practice, its lexicon, and the renewal of educator preparation. Washington, DC: AACTE Clinical Practice Commission. Grossman, P. L. (2018). Teaching core practices in teacher education. Paris, D., & Alim, H. S. (2017). Culturally sustaining pedagogies: Teaching and learning for justice in a changing world. Pinar, W. (2004). What is curriculum theory?. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum. Price, T. A. (2019). Back to the Future . . . Again: (re)Turning to Teaching Core Practices in Teacher Education. i.e. inquiry in education. 11(1/2) Price, T., Castner, D., and Watson, L. (2019). After Currere: The Meaning of Education in North American Curriculum Studies. EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION. [Format: Symposium Paper]. Schmidt, J. and Price, T. A. (2020). PARTICIPATE! An Urban Civic Education Curriculum Promotes Active Citizenship. Critical Issues in Teacher Education: The Journal of the Illinois Association of Teacher Educators. XXVII. Zenkov, K., & In Pytash, K. E. (2019). Clinical experiences in teacher education: Critical, project-based interventions in diverse classrooms.
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