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Considering the Vision of Public Education: Adding Social Justice to the Professional Program
Unformatted Document Text:  programs do change their views regarding intolerance (it decreases) and multicultural issues (more supportive) from their teacher education courses (Peterson, Cross, Johnson, & Howell, 2000). Social justice encompasses a consideration of a range of concerns including “what is fair?”; “who is responsible for justice/injustice?”; “what does it take to create social justice?” (Zollers, Albert, & Cochran-Smith, 2000). Teacher education faculty and candidates must consider these. Multicultural education’s culturally responsive pedagogy asserts that “the purpose of culturally responsive pedagogy is the maximization of learning for culturally diverse students” (Irvine, 2000, p. 5). The full education of all children, regardless of their social markers, is social justice because there are no privileged children. Within this context “a culturally responsive pedagogy also helps teachers to understand their commitment to the common good means the reconstruction of society to be fair, just and free of oppression” (ibid.). Additionally, the School of Education’s conceptual framework, core dispositions, and multicultural perspective statement (School of Education, June 2004), as well as NCATE standards (NCATE, 2001), and standards from the Association for Childhood Education International (Professional Standards, 2004) support the goals and content of adding social justice to the dispositions, teaching skills an strategies of teacher preparation programs. Contribution: The conference’s Strand I. Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers challenges us to consider the visions that inspire practice and action. This is done with full recognition that classrooms are complex with competing mandates and standards that do not recognize the unequal availability of resources and the diversity of the student population. Broad themes of this strand include diversity, teacher preparation, public and political mandates. The diversity of the student and teacher population must be negotiated within the quest for student learning and achievement. Teacher preparation programs are ever responding and modifying to an array of factors including funding, legislation, growth and shrinking of the student population. It is, I believe, a responsibility of Schools of Education to be leaders in crafting a vision for public education. I posit that attention to candidate dispositions must be considered while preparing future teachers with the skills and strategies that are necessary to successfully prepare a cognitively, culturally, and linguistically diverse student population for the future. This, in part, requires a return to the question that asks about the purpose of public education and the relationship between schools and society. As we imagine future students and future teachers, conversations with candidates about the purpose of education broadens the discourse beyond standards mandates to citizenship, democracy and justice. Relevance: My paper proposal relates to two of the conference perspectives, “using data to inform practice” and “successful (exemplary) practices”. There is a growing trend among educational researchers (Donmoyer, 1997; Kennedy, 1997; Peterson, 1998) to have a greater impact on practice, "to marry our practices and our research" (Peterson, 1998, p. 10). Teacher research is a model within this research trend. Teacher research is used by teachers who want to ask questions about, and gain a better understanding of, their practice. This model of research has been adopted by higher education, relabeled scholarship of teaching, “in which faculty frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning” (Hutchings & Shulman, 1999, p. 13). Assessment of student learning offers a platform for self assessment of teaching, and subsequent improvement. As a scholar practioner in a public institution I find scholarship of teaching research, utilizing qualitative methodology, a satisfying way to pursue a research agenda while carrying a heavy teaching load. Scholarship of teaching’s blending of research and teaching allows me to focus on my teaching and my students with an eye to gaining a deeper understanding of each to improve my classroom practice. Implication for Action: The concrete changes that come from this work of mine include development of the course I teach, and continuing my research. It is my intent to bring these findings and development to a wider audience

Authors: Stevens, Rebecca.
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programs do change their views regarding intolerance (it decreases) and multicultural issues (more
supportive) from their teacher education courses (Peterson, Cross, Johnson, & Howell, 2000). Social
justice encompasses a consideration of a range of concerns including “what is fair?”; “who is responsible
for justice/injustice?”; “what does it take to create social justice?” (Zollers, Albert, & Cochran-Smith,
2000). Teacher education faculty and candidates must consider these. Multicultural education’s
culturally responsive pedagogy asserts that “the purpose of culturally responsive pedagogy is the
maximization of learning for culturally diverse students” (Irvine, 2000, p. 5). The full education of all
children, regardless of their social markers, is social justice because there are no privileged children.
Within this context “a culturally responsive pedagogy also helps teachers to understand their commitment
to the common good means the reconstruction of society to be fair, just and free of oppression” (ibid.).
Additionally, the School of Education’s conceptual framework, core dispositions, and
multicultural perspective statement (School of Education, June 2004), as well as NCATE standards
(NCATE, 2001), and standards from the Association for Childhood Education International (Professional
Standards, 2004) support the goals and content of adding social justice to the dispositions, teaching skills
an strategies of teacher preparation programs.
Contribution:
The conference’s Strand I. Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers challenges us to consider
the visions that inspire practice and action. This is done with full recognition that classrooms are complex
with competing mandates and standards that do not recognize the unequal availability of resources and the
diversity of the student population. Broad themes of this strand include diversity, teacher preparation,
public and political mandates. The diversity of the student and teacher population must be negotiated
within the quest for student learning and achievement. Teacher preparation programs are ever responding
and modifying to an array of factors including funding, legislation, growth and shrinking of the student
population. It is, I believe, a responsibility of Schools of Education to be leaders in crafting a vision for
public education.
I posit that attention to candidate dispositions must be considered while preparing future teachers
with the skills and strategies that are necessary to successfully prepare a cognitively, culturally, and
linguistically diverse student population for the future. This, in part, requires a return to the question that
asks about the purpose of public education and the relationship between schools and society. As we
imagine future students and future teachers, conversations with candidates about the purpose of education
broadens the discourse beyond standards mandates to citizenship, democracy and justice.
Relevance:
My paper proposal relates to two of the conference perspectives, “using data to inform practice”
and “successful (exemplary) practices”. There is a growing trend among educational researchers
(Donmoyer, 1997; Kennedy, 1997; Peterson, 1998) to have a greater impact on practice, "to marry our
practices and our research" (Peterson, 1998, p. 10). Teacher research is a model within this research
trend. Teacher research is used by teachers who want to ask questions about, and gain a better
understanding of, their practice. This model of research has been adopted by higher education, relabeled
scholarship of teaching, “in which faculty frame and systematically investigate questions related to
student learning” (Hutchings & Shulman, 1999, p. 13). Assessment of student learning offers a platform
for self assessment of teaching, and subsequent improvement.
As a scholar practioner in a public institution I find scholarship of teaching research, utilizing
qualitative methodology, a satisfying way to pursue a research agenda while carrying a heavy teaching
load. Scholarship of teaching’s blending of research and teaching allows me to focus on my teaching and
my students with an eye to gaining a deeper understanding of each to improve my classroom practice.
Implication for Action:
The concrete changes that come from this work of mine include development of the course I teach,
and continuing my research. It is my intent to bring these findings and development to a wider audience


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