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Core Practices and Philosophy of Education: Balancing Effectiveness With Goodness

by Jeff Frank & Joe McDonough - 2020

Background/Context: This paper is part of the special issue “Reimagining Research and Practice at the Crossroads of Philosophy, Teaching, and Teacher Education.” In it we respond to the question of what role there might be for philosophy of education in an era marked by the demand that students graduating from teacher education programs be immediately effective, with “effectiveness” often narrowly, if not wholly, defined by the results of student standardized test scores.

Research Design: We address the question by offering an appreciative exploration of core practices approaches to teacher education.  We argue (a) that philosophers of education have much to learn by engaging these approaches, and that (b) practitioners and advocates of core practices can deepen their work through a critical appreciation of philosophy of education.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Though philosophy appears marginalized by core practices approaches to teaching and teacher education, we suggest that as core practices gain traction, philosophers of education will find new opportunities to engage with teaching and teacher education. Though much mitigates against this type of work, most notably the pressures related to effectiveness and institutional habits that still often separate methods and foundations courses, we argue that such work is indispensable in rendering teaching, and teacher education, both effective and responsible.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 122 Number 4, 2020, p. 1-22
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23075, Date Accessed: 9/24/2021 1:20:48 AM

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About the Author
  • Jeff Frank
    St. Lawrence University
    E-mail Author
    JEFF FRANK is an associate professor at St. Lawrence University. His work has appeared in the Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher and several philosophy of education journals. His first book, Teaching in the Now: John Dewey on the Educational Present was published in 2019 and his second book Being a Presence for Students: Teaching as a Lived Defense of Liberal Education is in press.
  • Joe McDonough
    J. M. McKenney Middle School
    E-mail Author
    JOE McDONOUGH is the principal of J. M. McKenney Middle School in Canton, NY.  He has researched and written about the implications of teachers’ experiences of gratitude for school leadership. 
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