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ERIC Number: EJ819912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1547-688X
Schools for a New Majority: The Role of Teacher Education in Hard Times
Nieto, Sonia
New Educator, v1 n1 p27-43 Feb 2005
In this article, the author identifies two current--and competing--discourses concerning teaching and public education in general. One is the "official" discourse, embodied in "No Child Left Behind" language, with a focus on accountability, standards, credentials, and testing, accompanied by punitive measures for failing to live up to these. The other is what one might call the "discourse of possibility," a way of thinking about teaching and learning that is embraced largely by teachers and others who view public education as an unfulfilled but nonetheless significant project in the quest for equality and social justice. This "unofficial" discourse is visible in books and articles that focus on the positive and uplifting work that teachers do and that champion teachers and defy the current damaging climate in education. As a result of these competing discourses, these are difficult but also promising times for those who view public education as the last and, in many cases, the "only" hope for fulfilling the society's stated ideals of democracy. Schools can only serve this purpose, however, when at the very least, all children have access to teachers who are both competent and caring. It is little wonder, then, that a great deal of attention has lately been focused on the quality of the teaching force. In this article, the author expands on recent work that challenges current notions of what defines a "highly qualified teacher." Specifically, she focuses on what it means to be a qualified teacher for the "new majority," that is, for students of racial and ethnic minorities, migrants and immigrants, and marginalized students of all backgrounds, especially those who attend deteriorating public urban and rural schools. She also reviews some of the findings and implications of her work with excellent teachers of urban students and suggests some qualities of truly "highly qualified" teachers, qualities that may not necessarily fit the definition proposed by "No Child Left Behind."
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001