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Becoming "Indigenous Foreigners": An experiment in transnational teacher education in Tanzania

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Abstract:

Tanzania is one of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa undergoing major reforms in teaching and teacher education as global models of ‘good teaching’ shift from teacher-centered to student-centered. Promoted, ironically, both by the World Bank and by progressive educators, constructivist learning methods are being infused in policy by ministries of education and curriculum development units. This paper explores the political and economic dynamics of this reform by looking at two transnational spaces that encompass Tanzania: the policy arena, whereby recommendations by international financial institutions regarding how to teach are translated into revised national curricula; and the arena of practice, in which in-service teacher education around these reforms is carried out by teams of African and non-African teacher educators. Drawing on a qualitative case study of a four-year teacher education project in Tanzania, we employ a critical analysis of epistemology as politics to reflect upon the ways in which constructivism as a “system of reason” informing current reforms is “reassembled, connected, and disconnected” as it articulates with local understandings of knowledge production and educational practice (Popkewitz, 2005, p. 9). The paper utilizes fieldnotes, classroom observations and interviews with secondary school teachers who participated in the project to examine their perspectives on the methods taught by the Tanzanian and U.S. teacher educators (including ourselves). The research shows how ‘foreign’ influences on teacher education reform are selectively appropriated by teachers and teacher educators in the process of becoming ‘indigenous’ knowledge about 'good teaching.'
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494170_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bartlett, Lesley. and Vavrus, Frances. "Becoming "Indigenous Foreigners": An experiment in transnational teacher education in Tanzania" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494170_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bartlett, L. and Vavrus, F. "Becoming "Indigenous Foreigners": An experiment in transnational teacher education in Tanzania" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494170_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Tanzania is one of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa undergoing major reforms in teaching and teacher education as global models of ‘good teaching’ shift from teacher-centered to student-centered. Promoted, ironically, both by the World Bank and by progressive educators, constructivist learning methods are being infused in policy by ministries of education and curriculum development units. This paper explores the political and economic dynamics of this reform by looking at two transnational spaces that encompass Tanzania: the policy arena, whereby recommendations by international financial institutions regarding how to teach are translated into revised national curricula; and the arena of practice, in which in-service teacher education around these reforms is carried out by teams of African and non-African teacher educators. Drawing on a qualitative case study of a four-year teacher education project in Tanzania, we employ a critical analysis of epistemology as politics to reflect upon the ways in which constructivism as a “system of reason” informing current reforms is “reassembled, connected, and disconnected” as it articulates with local understandings of knowledge production and educational practice (Popkewitz, 2005, p. 9). The paper utilizes fieldnotes, classroom observations and interviews with secondary school teachers who participated in the project to examine their perspectives on the methods taught by the Tanzanian and U.S. teacher educators (including ourselves). The research shows how ‘foreign’ influences on teacher education reform are selectively appropriated by teachers and teacher educators in the process of becoming ‘indigenous’ knowledge about 'good teaching.'


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