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ERIC Number: EJ1078929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1047-8248
Countering the Dominant Narrative: In Defense of Critical Coursework
Lynskey, Angela Cartwright
Educational Foundations, v28 n1-4 p73-86 2015
Demographics of public schools, in which minority students now make up the majority of the student body while the teaching force continues to be mostly White, indicate that many pre-service teachers will need significant training if they are to be prepared for the challenging task of filling knowledge gaps, interrogating dominant assumptions, and creating space for voices of difference. Before pre-service teachers, especially those whose privilege remains unacknowledged, can lead their classes in transformational learning, described as that which occurs when a new awareness changes the way people perceive themselves, others, and the world around them, pre-service teachers must first experience it themselves. Thus, the decreasing emphasis on, or even acknowledgement of, multicultural education in teacher education is cause for concern. Teacher preparation programs increasingly focus on preparing candidates for the standardized classroom while failing to engage them in the ongoing dialogue about the role of the classroom in society. The trend away from critical educational foundations is illustrated by the 2006 NCATE controversy over social justice. Ultimately, NCATE opted to abandon social justice in order to maintain its accreditation authority without mounting a defense of social justice, declining to even provide a counter definition to balance the ideological bias of the social justice opponents. Even the more palatable field of multicultural education is rarely required coursework, and when it is, it is rarely presented in ways that encourage pre-service teachers to move outside of their comfort zones. Without these crucial components in their undergraduate education, it is unlikely that classroom teachers will see among their goals the "responsibility for building classroom communities that confront controversy and take responsibility for creating a better community, one that values diversity and human integrity and fights inhumanity". Social justice education, itself an acknowledgement of the larger need for individual and societal transformation through interrogations of dominant assumptions,is frequently met with resistance by pre-service teachers. The data from the study presented in this article suggests that one explanation for this phenomenon is that the concept of social justice is increasingly counter to dominant cultural narratives, as an analysis of texts popular among Christian communities in the Midwest suggests.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A