Private Interests in a Public Profession: Teacher Education and Racial Capitalism
by Lauren Anderson - 2019
Background/Context: This article offers an analysis of the contemporary policy context surrounding teacher education in the United States. It lays out recent policy shifts that have come to frame the field, particularly university-based teacher preparation as “broken,” and to fuel forward certain strands of disruptive innovation.
Purpose/Objective: The article’s aim is to prompt consideration of how teacher educators are navigating and might navigate, on their own and together, the tentacles of neoliberalism climbing from K–12 into teacher education. Specifically, it explores the outsize influence of pro-privatization entities and teacher educators who have partnered with them, and it raises questions about the compromised positions that the enduring structures of racial capitalism and the neoliberal turn in education policy seemingly extend to teacher educators in these times.
Conclusions/Recommendations: The article closes by arguing that even well-meaning teacher educators can end up ensnared in destructive reform, and for reasons far more complicated than simple character flaw, carelessness, or collusion. Thus, while teacher education needs “transformers,” it needs for them to be conscious, careful, and accountable when it comes to the structures of racial capitalism and the (neoliberal) web into which present-day privatizing interests would like to see them profitably woven.
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