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Medium 9781475819434

Dialogues of Teacher Education

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


Editor’s Note: With the “Dialogues of Teacher Education” section in Teacher Education and Practice, we invite our readers to join us in a venture to create a venue for giving voice to the difficult problems of the day. Specifically, our purpose is to bring individuals together and engage in a meaningful, critical examination of selected topics that concern teacher educators and practitioners. We hope you enjoy the dialogue in this issue, “A Social Justice Imperative for Teacher Preparation and Practice,” and that the contributing authors stimulate important and needed conversations among teacher educators, practitioners, policymakers, and other cultural workers concerned with improving teacher education and practice.

As a democratic society, we are faced with increasingly complex and, at the same time, destructive challenges to our way of life—none more destructive or dehumanizing than those imposed by the daily reality of injustices in every quarter of society. Importantly, injustices have been and continue to be, in Dewey’s (1927) term, a social pathology that disarms and disadvantages all who fall victim to the myriad ways that injustices pervade society. The critical necessity of reimagining an ethic of fairness and justice in social practices concerning society and its educational systems could hardly be more pressing.

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Medium 9781475813371

Considerations for 21st-Century Disciplinary Policy and Practice

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Joshua M. Englehart

Considerations for 21st-Century Disciplinary Policy and Practice

ABSTRACT: While the conceiving of 21st-century schools has rightly included much discussion on curriculum and instruction, changing demands and conditions also present necessary changes in the way that student behavior is managed. A review of the literature on student discipline over the past decade reveals three particular issues that warrant attention in the context of adapting to changes among and around the students we serve: bullying and harassment, the discipline gap (the disparity in disciplinary consequences between White and non-White students), and zero-tolerance policy (the use of strict predetermined consequences in response to offenses regardless of the circumstances surrounding the event). For each issue, central concerns are discussed along with implications for policy and practice. To conclude, two common themes that run through these issues are described—namely, the importance of context and the need for student-centered approaches.

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Medium 9781475816525

From Risk to Resilience: Promoting School–Health Partnerships for Children

International Journal of Educational Reform Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Jeanita W. Richardson

ABSTRACT: Across the globe, educational and health practitioners wrestle daily with the paradoxes of risk and resilience. Though the causes of risk are generally outside the control of professionals, manifestations of disadvantage directly affect service delivery and the realizing of accountability benchmarks. This article proposes a shift in attention from risk to resilience as being empowering and proactive for students and those vested in maximizing their potential. Given that resilience has been deemed an ecological phenomenon, the ecology of human development framework posited by Uri Bronfenbrenner (1979) was applied to advance the rationale for resiliency partnerships between schools and school-based health clinics.

Poverty can create risk in every dimension of a child’s life. Impoverished youngsters around the world are more apt to be born underweight and to be malnourished, as well as susceptible to disease and environmental toxins. Furthermore, implications of these poverty markers do not disappear after birth or early childhood but rather persist into adulthood (Borman & Overman, 2004; Guo & Harris, 2000; Jenson, 2007; Richardson, 2006). Lest the focus on child poverty and the risk it creates target emerging nations alone, it is important to remember that citizen status in wealthy nations such as the United States does little to protect youngsters from economic disadvantage, particularly if they belong to racial and ethnic minorities. Whether residing in developed or emerging nations, babies and youth are subjected to a toxic risk cocktail if they are poor, by their nation’s definition. In and of itself, the term poor is relative and contextual. For purposes of this article, the word refers to family resources that are insufficient to ensure adequate housing, health, and educational opportunities undergirding optimal child development.

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Medium 9781475848861

To Brevet or Not to Brevet: Lebanon Contemplates Abandoning the Middle-Secondary Examination . . . Tharwat Dabaja and Barend Vlaardingerbroek

Russo, Charles J. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

To Brevet or Not to Brevet

Lebanon Contemplates Abandoning the Middle-Secondary Examination

Tharwat Dabaja

Barend Vlaardingerbroek

ABSTRACT: The Lebanese government in 2016 was presented with a proposal to abandon the middle-secondary Brevet examination. The Brevet acts as a filter for the upper secondary tier and channels considerable numbers of students into technical/vocational education. This article discusses the likely impact of the abolition of this public examination and presents data compiled from a survey of student views. The authors argue that the fundamental problem plaguing Lebanese education is its poor articulation with the labor market and warn against abolishing the Brevet unless the move is part of a package of reforms aimed at rectifying this dysfunctional interface.

KEY WORDS: curriculum-based external examinations, Lebanon, Brevet, transition to higher education, transition to employment

Curriculum-based external examinations are a feature of many of the world’s school education systems. Internationally recognized among these examinations are the French Baccalauréat and the English A-levels, and their numerous clones throughout the francophone and anglophone worlds. Conventionally, both the French and the English systems have had such examinations at the end of the elementary cycle, at the juncture between lower secondary and upper secondary school, and at the culmination of high school. The traditional function of these examinations has been to filter and channel students. They also have quality assurance and standards monitoring functions (Abu-Alhija, 2007; Bishop, 1997, 1998, 1999; Vlaardingerbroek & Taylor, 2009). However, given the increasing participation rates at post-elementary level, loss of job opportunities for unskilled youths, raising of minimum school-leaving ages, and growing demand for tertiary education, a process of what Vlaardingerbroek and Taylor (2009) have called “bottom-up erosion” (p. 339) often sees the demise or weakening of first the end-of-elementary examination, and then the middle-secondary examination system.

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Medium 9781475830569

Flattening the Field of Teacher Education: Using Nested Communities of Practice in Place of Expert–Novice Dyads in Clinical Practice Placement Schools

Jenlink, Patrick M. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Using Nested Communities of Practice in Place of Expert–Novice Dyads in Clinical Practice Placement Schools


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this conceptual article is to propose how the field might improve teacher education by deliberately preparing new teachers for professional collaboration within nested communities of practice. The authors suggest disrupting the existing “grammar of teacher education” by replacing the traditional cooperating teacher–student teacher dyad model with a more collaborative approach that involves teams of preservice teachers working with teams of practicing teachers. This approach may alleviate problems inherent to the dyad model, such as replication of the status quo and isolation from other colleagues.

In the recent scholarship on teacher education, conversations about practice-based approaches to improving teachers and teaching have taken center stage (Ball & Forzani, 2009; Hiebert & Morris, 2012a, 2012b; Lampert, 2012; Lewis, Perry, Friedkin, & Roth, 2012; Zeichner, 2012). The practice-based approaches documented in this body of literature differ according to the professional status of the teachers under consideration. When discussing the use of practice-based education in initial teacher preparation, preservice teachers are depicted as learning specific high-leverage practices through observation, rehearsal, study, and repetition in methods courses (see Boerst, Sleep, Ball, & Bass, 2011; Charalambous, Hill, & Ball, 2011; Zeichner, 2012). The work on practice-based approaches to continuing teacher education portrays groups of in-service teachers “working on teaching as a collective practice” (Lampert, 2012, p. 361). This work includes sharing highly effective lesson plans, engaging in collaborative lesson study, and participating in other “practice-based opportunities to learn” (Lewis et al., 2012, p. 368).

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