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ERIC Number: EJ917433
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0890-6459
Taking a Democratic Stance toward Knowledge
Traugh, Cecelia
Teacher Education and Practice, v22 n4 p485-487 Fall 2009
One of the major priorities that should guide teacher education programs in preparing teachers for their work in a democratic society is to develop a commitment to knowledge that embraces complexity and to place this knowledge into competition with the mainstream vision, which results from a deep reliance on standardized testing and controls much of the public conversation about schools, teaching and learning, and children. A passage from "Seeing Like a State," by James C. Scott (1998), describes the nature of the knowledge needed by all large bureaucracies and provided by the standardized testing required of public schools in the U.S. The knowledge that an educational bureaucracy gains from standardized testing meets Scott's criteria: It simplifies what is defined as learning; it provides information about narrowly defined and thus simplified areas of learning; it brings those areas into sharp focus and leaves the rest outside its lens; it creates a picture of a selected reality. This kind of knowledge is useful for many purposes. It is important that teacher educators put ideas into play that ensure that the teachers whom they educate have ways to think and work that are not complicit with the conventional and narrowing ways of thinking about children and teaching and learning but instead help them "open possibilities of thought, reflection, and action."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States