Towards a New History of Teacher Education: A View from Critical Pedagogy (Article 3) (Report) - American Education History Journal

Towards a New History of Teacher Education: A View from Critical Pedagogy (Article 3) (Report)

By American Education History Journal

  • Release Date - Published: 2008-01-01
  • Book Genre: Education
  • Author: American Education History Journal
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Towards a New History of Teacher Education: A View from Critical Pedagogy (Article 3) (Report) American Education History Journal read online review & book description:

Wesley Null's provocative questions that guided the session on the future of teacher education curriculum at the 2007 Midwest History of Education Society cut to the very rationale for compulsory public education in America. The only justification that can be morally sanctioned is that without adequate preparation for their civic duties, citizens will become the corrosive agents of the polity, not its building blocks. Most significant within this body of duties is the assumption of moral responsibilities as a citizen, particularly the normative freedom that society requires to sustain itself. In short, if individuals cannot see the connection of their actions within the health of the state, then actions that benefit individuals but wound the state cannot be anything other than selfish. Obviously, such a dynamic can veer too much to an excess of collective identity at the expense of the individual, whose freedoms, in concert with civic duties, justify the state in the first place (Rosenow 1980). What, then, does this have to do with teacher education? Frankly, everything! When we think about why we require compulsory education--and what we need (not simply prefer or want) all students to know and be able to do--it inevitably must return to attitudes, behaviors, and dispositions. The specific content knowledge of each citizen is largely irrelevant (peruse the content for any high school civics course if you doubt me). What matters are the ends toward which this information is put. Again, this attitude taken too far would lead to a pernicious relativism, one where collective action could justify the most horrid behaviors as well as denying agency or accountability within the individual.

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