ERIC Number: EJ721706
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-1
Reference Count: 38
An Anarchy of Cultures: The Politics of Teacher Education in New Times
Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, v33 n3 p231-241 Nov 2005
The Victorian Age was a period of great confusion, of great hope and great despair, of a bourgeois assault upon the aristocracy, of an evangelical assault upon the establishment, of the raised voices of the Wesleyans in the Welsh valleys. In Australia, of course it was the threat of the Yellow Peril and of Russian invasion as well as the emerging Shearer's union and the battle for the eight hour day among the stonemasons at Melbourne University. It was, also, of course, a period where religious certainties were challenged by scientific doubt. The battle between the ethical dilemmas presented by scientific reconceptualization of the human species and the certainties of religious fundamentalism was with people then, as now. Matthew Arnold, Chief Inspector of Her Majesty's schools in 1869, and later Professor of Poetry at Oxford, chose to solve this confusion by joining Adam Smith's century old advocacy of public funded education of the poor. Culture, as well as religion, was to be the opiate of the masses. Culture, communicated through education, was to civilize the Populace. Arnold was also concerned with the education of the bourgeois and the aristocracy, who he felt had abandoned any sense of responsibility towards the wider society. This article discusses how the politics of these ancient culture wars are fundamental to an understanding of the politics of teacher education. In contemporary society, many different groups of individuals not only celebrate their particular culture, but also demand recognition of their right to do so. The author defines this contemporary condition as "an anarchy of cultures", each of which seeks to negotiate its way of life with other cultures under the umbrella of the search for social justice. It his contention that the emergence of this anarchy of cultures and their various claims for social and cultural justice mark a decisive break with the past and present a political challenge for education in general, and for teacher education specifically.
Descriptors: Teacher Education, Politics of Education, Culture Conflict, Theory Practice Relationship, Educational Quality, Accountability, Standards, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia