The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Shifting to a Global/Local Framework in U.S. Teacher Education

amanda richey, Kennesaw State University (United States)

Leena Her, Kennesaw State University (United States)

Abstract

Teacher education the United States is a critical arena for supporting pre-service teacher candidates’ exploration of their own identities and practices in local and global contexts.  Where and when students might undertake this project depends greatly on the values and culture of the institution, and the extent that teacher educators commit to what Willinksy (1998) has termed “educational accountability” (p. 16).  North American schooling has increasingly become influenced by the shifts to greater standardization and hyper-accountability (Johnson, Johnson, Farenga, & Ness, 2005; Sleeter, 2008; Taubman, 2009).  The distinctly neo-liberal notions of surveillance and “free markets” have paradoxically supported neo-conservative pushes to regulate and standardize societal “producers,” i.e. teachers and others working in education (Apple, 2004, p. 30).  Schools of education in U.S. universities and colleges are not immune to these trends and have been the locus of intense debate over teacher accountability (including the role of assessments such as the edTPA) and approaches to “diversity” education as expressed in university programming, coursework and climate. North American teacher educators are complicit in this transformation as we shift focus from wider conversations about what education is and could be to how to standardization can be used to prove worth in the face of increased external pressure, what Taubman (2009) termed the “audit culture” (p. 88). In this paper, issues of diversity and global education are discussed within the context of U.S. higher education—in particular, the southern regional comprehensive university where the authors teach. This paper covers how re-thinking the current approaches to global education and diversity might open up spaces for challenging the way we “do” diversity education for pre-service teachers overall.

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