This case study examines the experiences of a young African American English teacher over 3 years as she tried to teach multicultural literature.
Although ensuring that our nation’s classrooms are all staffed with quality teachers is a perennially important issue in our schools, it is also among the most misunderstood. This misunderstanding centers on the supposed sources of the problem—the reasons behind the purportedly low quality of teaching in American schools—and has undermined the success of reform efforts. Underlying much of the criticism and reforms is a series of assumptions and claims as to the sources of the problems plaguing the teaching occupation. In this chapter I will focus on four of these.
In this chapter, we argue that increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of the teacher workforce should be a key component of any system that aims to supply schools with well-prepared teachers for all students. We first explain why we think attention and resources should be devoted to increasing the diversity of the teacher workforce. We then provide a brief account of minority teacher and student representation in U.S. public schools since 1950, followed by a discussion of the reasons why the percentage of minorities in the teacher workforce declined significantly during the 1970s and 1980s.
In this chapter, we focus on the role that one policy area—teacher compensation—can play in inhibiting or advancing teacher quality through its impact on attracting, retaining, and developing a high-quality teaching force. Because compensation reform is at a nascent stage of development, we rely on a variety of information sources for our review, including empirical research studies examining the role that compensation plays in influencing teacher behaviors, theoretical studies, and case studies of innovative uses of compensation to affect teacher behavior.
This chapter draws attention to two of the major and unique contributions teacher unions have made to the quality of the teacher workforce over the past several decades. It draws from more than a decade of research on U.S. and Canadian teacher unions’ roles in both the backwaters and the frontiers of educational reform.
Over the past two decades in the United States, there has been an increased emphasis on ensuring an adequate supply of teachers to serve our diverse student population. In response to this need, a movement to redefine teaching as a profession in order to attract and retain more teachers has emerged. At the same time, a countermovement has emerged, advocating that anyone who can meet minimal content and pedagogical standards should be allowed to teach. Both approaches use the phrase “highly qualified” to describe their teacher candidates.
If you visit the human resource operations of most districts, you will see that they are focused primarily on triage—handling the most immediate problem facing the school system that day. These problems can range from not having enough substitutes to meeting the No Child Left Behind mandates to finding mid-year replacements for specialists or for particular courses. As important as it is to have a full, well thought out, rational strategy for teacher recruitment and retention, it is hard to sustain this effort alone, when day-today emergencies must take precedence.
Teaching entails a love of learning. In teaching, teachers invite students to learn more about the grace of great things.
This study uses data from a 10-year longitudinal study to explore how women graduates of a liberal arts college experience the gendered construction of teachers and teaching as they make life and career choices.
The article offers the commentary that the National Board Certification for Teachers uses just entry-level standards and is not worthy of such a reputable designation.
This commentary refutes Thirunarayanan's recently published opinion piece, which accuses the National Board of being a "hoax," and illustrates how its unsubstantiated claims are rooted in an academia bias. Though the National Board is far from perfect, the commentary contends that the process is one excellent way to celebrate the hard work of accomplished teachers.
This is a self-study of an elementary teacher's emotions during the year he took a sabbatical from a position as an education professor.
Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data collected over a 5-year period, we argue that in troubled urban school districts, teacher buy-in to curricular reform is best achieved when change agents adapt their program to the daily needs and problems of classroom teachers.
Relatively little research examines the specific interactions and dynamics by which professional community constitutes a resource for teacher learning and innovations in teaching practice. This paper draws on intensive case studies of teacher knowledge, practice, and learning among teachers of mathematics and English in two high schools to take up the problem of how classroom teaching practice comes to be known, shared, and developed among teachers through their out-of-classroom interactions.
This article explores the work of one urban teacher network and analyzes th ideas about educational equity and inequality that evolve from its professional development practices. Beginning from what feminist sociologist, Dorothy Smith, has called the "everyday world as problematic" this group's work envisions social change that is deeply situated and attends to the multiplicity, complexity and uncertainly that characterize human learning, especially given contexts saturated with inequalities.
Educators must find ways to legitimize critique and controversy within organizational life. This article examines constructive conflict within the context of a comprehensive Midwestern high school engaged in significant reform efforts. Here conflict is employed as a means to promote individual and organizational learning and growth.
The paper analyzes three current approaches to teacher education reform in the U.S.- the professionalization agenda, the deregulation agenda, and the social justice agenda.
We consider the role of anthropology and its central construct—culture—in the study of education.
This commentary considers the contradiction of using standardized tests to assess authentic learning.
In this article, we focus on two first-year high school teachers who graduated from the same teacher preparation program in the same year. One is credentialed in the subject area and the other is not. Using comparative case methodology, we investigate and contrast how the teachers taught a unit on Steinbeck's novel Cannery Row.
By joining two related ethnographic case studies, this paper examines how an emphasis on critical inquiry in a multicultural education course (Case I) influenced one teacher's understandings and actions during the two years following the course (Case II), leading to transformative practices that emphasize education for a more democratic, just society. The paper then summarizes the tools and structures that supported this teacher in creating transformative multicultural practices across classrooms in her school district.
While often considered a dysfunctional aspect of community, conflict, this article argues, reflects a natural and potentially positive part of teacher professional communities. Using case studies, the work explores micropolitical processes among teachers.
This article reports on a study of the complex and messy process of classroom technology integration. The main purpose of the study was to empirically address the large question of "why don’t teachers innovate when they are given computers?" rather than whether computers can improve student learning.
Based on an interview study of fifty 1st- and 2nd-year teachers in Massachusetts, we describe a lack of curricular support for new teachers despite the progress of standards-based reform.
The purpose of the study was to determine the best approach to the development of procedures to assess beginning teachers. Recent conceptions of teaching and new approaches to assessment were examined for the implications for the development of teacher assessments. A framework consisting of fifteen implications is proposed.
Our analysis investigates variations among intended reforms as demonstrated by observed teacher practice in 36 California restructuring schools.
A consideration of the advantages of viewing teaching as public service alongside other key democratic occupations such as nurses, firefighters, police, paramedics, social workers, and librarians.
The authors use their experience with a professional development project to propose a model of teacher community in the workplace.
This paper draws on extended interviews with 53 elementary and secondary teachers in Ontario, Canada concerning the emotional aspects of their work, to develop a new conceptual framework of emotional geographies of teaching.
This article examines the impact of race, ethnicity and academic skills on the probability that high school students succeed in each of the various steps of the path into teaching.