Acts of Solidarity: Developing Urban Social Justice Educators in the Struggle for Quality Public Education (Essay) - Teacher Education Quarterly

Acts of Solidarity: Developing Urban Social Justice Educators in the Struggle for Quality Public Education (Essay)

By Teacher Education Quarterly

  • Release Date - Published: 2010-06-22
  • Book Genre: Education
  • Author: Teacher Education Quarterly
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Acts of Solidarity: Developing Urban Social Justice Educators in the Struggle for Quality Public Education (Essay) Teacher Education Quarterly read online review & book description:

In many instances, teacher education programs have been positioned as apolitical entities with the task of preparing teachers to perform the duties and responsibilities of the profession. Instead, the position of the authors is that because teaching is a deeply political endeavor that requires expert knowledge of issues beyond the classroom, teacher education programs must embrace a particular responsibility. We agree with Cochran-Smith that teacher education is a political issue that requires "an intentional blurring of the roles of teacher education practitioner, teacher education researcher, and critic/analyst of the policies, political agendas, and popular and professional discourses that directly or indirectly influence teacher education" (Cochran-Smith, 2004, p. 4). In so doing, we recognize that "political" in this sense is not referencing electoral partisan politics. Instead, it is in reference to the overt and nuanced power relationships between the state (both local and federal), public policy, and its residents. Teaching should not be considered outside of this construct. By taking the position that teaching for social justice is an act of necessity and solidarity, this work seeks to highlight two examples of teacher education initiatives. Because the relationships between teacher, student, family, school, and state are integral to the teaching process, three central questions guide our thinking and teaching. The first question in our inquiry is in what ways can teacher education be re-conceptualized in relation to communities to address the political function of teaching? Secondly, how can teacher education renegotiate traditional relationships with key stakeholders to move towards social justice education? Finally, what specific strategies and innovations are teacher educators implementing within communities and schools to develop social justice educators?

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