ERIC Number: EJ917425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 4
McAninch, Amy C.
Teacher Education and Practice, v22 n4 p458-460 Fall 2009
Theorizing about teacher education and democracy is a challenging task in the year 2009. According to this author, the antidemocratic forces of the social efficiency movement have intensified with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, and recent activities of the Obama Department of Education have ratcheted up social efficiency's premise that teacher education is part of a system of manufacture and that teachers are a product. To understand why, it is useful to refer to the work of one of the most important educational theorists of the first half of the 20th century, George Counts. He pointed out that one of the most important structural developments in teacher education is the preparation of elementary school teachers in separate single-purpose institutions called "normal schools." Separate from universities, these schools functioned to train teachers in elementary school subject matter and methods--with a big emphasis on methods. The author emphasizes that teacher education that prioritizes democracy needs to repudiate the normal school idea--namely, that teacher education is principally the acquisition of methods that work as combined with clinical experience and that social analysis has little, if anything, to do with it.
Descriptors: Educational Theories, Preservice Teacher Education, Democracy, Teacher Role, Elementary School Teachers, Educational History, Federal Legislation, Clinical Experience, Theory Practice Relationship, Politics of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001