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Teacher Education and Practice, a peer-refereed journal, is dedicated to the encouragement and the dissemination of research and scholarship related to professional education. The journal is concerned, in the broadest sense, with teacher preparation, practice and policy issues related to the teaching profession, as well as being concerned with learning in the school setting. The journal also serves as a forum for the exchange of diverse ideas and points of view within these purposes. As a forum, the journal offers a public space in which to critically examine current discourse and practice as well as engage in generative dialogue. Alternative forms of inquiry and representation are invited, and authors from a variety of backgrounds and diverse perspectives are encouraged to contribute. Teacher Education & Practice is published by Rowman & Littlefield.

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Editorial: Teacher Education in the Current Age of Neoliberalism: Toward a Pedagogy of Democratization

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

If our contemporary discussion of education is to have meaning, it must move beyond assumptions about national boundaries and goals internal to national agendas. It must address the questions raised by the globalization of the two traditional bases of formalized educational systems: governance and economies. These questions are very straightforward: Will globalization make human rights and democratic participation more universal, or will globalization redefine human enterprise as market exchanges invulnerable to traditional forms of civic governance?

—Torres (2002, p. 364)

Education in a democratic society is an intentional enterprise. Explicitly or implicitly, education serves individual and societal goals, domestically and globally. Even when intentions are not stated explicitly and formally, all educational endeavors convey purposes and underlying ideas about education and the democratic society whose children education intends to serve. This is equally true of the intentions of teacher education in a democratic society. Preparing teachers for schools is a function of furthering the democratic ideals that guide a society in its continual progress toward realizing democracy.

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Preservice Teachers’ Views on the Global Dimensions of Education

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ELENI OIKONOMIDOY

ABSTRACT : The impact of globalization on many aspects of current social life has not left the field of multicultural education unaffected. Yet the theoretical call for the creation of global multicultural frameworks has not translated into teacher education practice. In one multicultural education class, I attempted to explicitly infuse global insights and examine the students’ responses to them. Critical discourse analysis of the 20 preservice teachers’ narratives revealed areas of resistance and evidence of “latent” global multicultural agency in their developing views. I propose that multicultural teacher educators identify and cultivate this agency through macrolevel interdisciplinary collaborations and attention to microlevel teaching practices.

Many university students are unable to cope with the technical and scholastic demands made on their use of language as students. They cannot define terms which they hear in lectures or which they themselves use . . . Irrationally and irrelevantly, with an obstinacy that we might too easily mistake as servility, they seek to reproduce [the teacher] discourse in a way which recalls the simplifications, corruptions and logical re-workings that linguistics encounter in “creolized” languages.

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The Role of Faculty in Global Society: Carving Out the Public Purpose of Our Work

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LESLIE D. GONZALES

RODOLFO RINCONES

ABSTRACT : This qualitative analysis investigates the role of tenure-track faculty at Towne University (pseudonym), a regional institution with a long-standing public service mission. Towne has played an important role in the production and continued development of teachers for local schools through extensive K–20 collaboration. Recently, however, Towne embarked on a new mission: Tier 1 status. This shift imposes new standards for faculty work, challenging the tradition of K–20 engagement. World systems theory and new institutionalism are merged to explain why Towne University seeks Tier 1 status. The structural explanations are injected with theories of agency as the perception, experience, and reaction of tenure-track faculty are explored. We find that through negotiation and dissent, faculty engage the structural impositions placed on their work. They manage to satisfy organizational demands yet remain committed to Towne’s K–20 tradition. By straddling personal commitment and larger, structural, organizational demands, faculty dissenters and negotiators redefine the role of faculty.

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A Call for Civic Action: Teacher Education on the Edge of Reform

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JENNIFER WADDELL

ABSTRACT : The percentage of urban teachers who leave the profession within the first 5 years is more than 50%; inadequate preparation is often cited as a cause of urban teacher attrition. This article explores a qualitative study regarding teachers’ perceptions of their experience of and preparation for teaching in urban schools. Data from teachers in urban schools were collected through interviews, observations, written documents, and focus groups and analyzed by inductive analysis. The voices of urban teachers are contrasted with and compared to current research and recommendations regarding teacher education. In sum, this article calls for teacher preparation programs across the United States to redesign curriculum to better prepare teachers for urban schools.

The U.S. Department of Education (2000) asserts that the quality of teaching is the most important factor for improving schools. However, teacher turnover and the constant hiring of new teachers can impede this improvement. On average, 12% of 1st-year teachers change schools or leave the profession. Nationally, public schools experience a 30% to 50% teacher turnover rate for beginning teachers within the first 5 years (Ballinger, 2000; Halford, 1999; Ingersoll, 2002; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003; National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 2002; Prince, 2002). This teacher attrition is most prevalent in low-income communities (National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 2002, 2003). Nationwide, the 5-year attrition rate in urban districts is more than 50% (Nieto, 2003a; Prince, 2002; Sachs, 2004; Saffold, 2003; Voke, 2003). Furthermore, reports indicate that 75% to 100% of teachers who leave are considered effective or highly effective (Voke, 2003; Wong, 2003).

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Teacher Education in a Global Society

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

EDITOR’S NOTE: With the introduction of Dialogues of Teacher Education in this issue of Teacher Education and Practice, we invite our readers to join us in a venture to create a much-needed venue for giving voice to 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 the readership enjoys the section and that the dialogue stimulates important and needed conversations among teacher educators, practitioners, policymakers, and other cultural workers concerned with improving teacher education and practice.

These are strange times for teacher education in a democratic society. Strange, some argue, because globalization dominates economic, political, and technological interfaces among social institutions, nationstates, and the world. These are also dangerous times for teacher education in a democratic society. Dangerous, others argue, because the expansion of neoliberalism as form of contemporary globalization increasingly permeates all aspects of society and influences social institutions—particularly, education. What our collective future will look like, including the place of teacher education and democracy, will “depend upon the outcomes of current social struggles, struggles in which the meanings assigned to ‘globalization’ [and democracy] are central” (Rupert, 2000, p. 42).

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Bigger Dreams in a Smaller World

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JANE CLOSE CONOLEY

To answer the editor’s question “What are the major challenges faced by teacher education in an increasing global society?” many issues deserve notice. They may be summarized as building the will, the space, the capacity, and the evidence. I start with an assumption that, at least rhetorically, is not controversial. Teacher education programs must be globalized to prepare teachers to succeed with their students in the 21st century. The challenges of managing such a transformation, however, are daunting in a society that lauds local control of education.

Do We Have the Will?

A recent report from the American Council of Education illustrates that U.S. universities have not constructed comprehensive outcome-driven programs to expose their undergraduates or graduates to experiences that would provide students with the “global competence” that appears in the mission statements of about 50% of U.S. universities. University-based teacher education programs are thus embedded in contexts that are unlikely to contribute to purposeful internationalizing efforts. Teacher education programs are likely to serve students who have no international experience or little experience (namely through leisure travel and study-abroad experiences), who speak only one language, and whose general education program had no focus on global information. This situation casts some doubt on whether universities and U.S. college students have the will or motivation to release themselves from the shackles of the remnants of U.S. isolationistic attitudes that have characterized our culture for at least the past 100 years.

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What Can Teacher Education Do?

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CHRISTINE SLEETER

Recently I watched a lesson in an elementary classroom in which the children were planning the layout for a town. The map they had created included churches, houses, stores, roads, and schools; as I arrived, they were discussing where to put a dog park. It would not be long before this small school would prepare for a simulation of the economy and governance of a small town, a popular annual event to which teachers link some of the math, reading, science, and social studies curriculum. Citizenship is a prominent strand in this school’s curriculum.

The children in the school are fairly diverse. Almost two thirds are Mexican American, mainly from low-income homes and several from immigrant families. Almost a third are White from a range of social class backgrounds. There are also a few African American students from working-class backgrounds. The teachers, all White, are predominantly women, largely from the community in which they are teaching. They are skilled teachers of creative lessons that engage their students; the school itself has resisted teaching to the tests, which is common in schools serving similar student populations. However, most of the teachers hold conventional assumptions about diversity and about the United States in relationship to the rest of the world. For example, several felt threatened when I asked them to consider the possibility that their perspectives might be limited by their backgrounds as middle-class White people who, though college educated, have had fairly little substantive interaction with adults who differ from themselves.

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The Challenge of Globalization: Preparing Teachers for a Global Age

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MERRY M. MERRYFIELD

Globalization changes everything. When young people affect and are affected by issues, changes, and events across the world, they need to be given the tools to participate in global discourse and decision making. With their incredible consumer power, today’s preK–12 students are already influencing global economic, technological, and environmental changes. As tomorrow’s electorate, they will be confronted with the acceleration of knowledge creation never before imagined. They will need new skills to organize, debate, learn, and engage in actions and discourse on issues facing their planet (Stromquist, 2002). Such global engagement is likely to expand their identities as they develop loyalties to people and issues beyond their borders (Appiah, 2006).

How should these profound changes affect the ways in which we prepare teachers? In what follows, I offer several suggestions for infusing global perspectives into teacher education programs in general. The knowledge and skills that grow out of the disciplines that teachers will teach is beyond the scope of this short piece.

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Challenges to 21st-Century Teacher Education

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GERARDO M. GONZALEZ

The major challenge faced by teacher education in an increasingly global society is to prepare teachers who can function effectively in a standards and accountability environment while modeling and inspiring their students to be internationally minded, creative citizens. In the 21st century, the most effective societies will be those that generate the most knowledge and have a workforce capable of accessing and utilizing that knowledge to produce innovative products and ideas. Such societies will require highly educated workers with not only deep subject knowledge expertise in science, mathematics, history, geography, world languages, civics, economics, and other traditional areas of schooling but also a new set of media, technology, learning, and life skills needed to adapt and innovate in an information-driven global economy.

However, the demographic changes taking place throughout the world, specifically in the United States, have forced schools to focus on the development of minimum competencies and basic skills among large segments of the population. In the United States, the achievement gaps between rapidly growing numbers of mostly poor, minority, and immigrant students and their more affluent, mostly White counterparts led to the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which focuses on achieving basic skills proficiency in reading, mathematics, and, more recently, science. The accountability provisions of NCLB impose severe sanctions for schools that do not meet specified minimum annual yearly progress on state-approved standardized tests designed to measure basic skills in the required areas. Consequently, there has been a general narrowing of the curriculum and less teacher flexibility as more and more schools attempt to meet annual yearly progress by increasing the focus on what is measured.

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America and 21st-Century Global Challenges: The Role of Teacher Education

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MARY HATWOOD FUTRELL

These are demanding times for America and for nations around the world. Today, as at no time in recent history, we are experiencing massive, often-tumultuous changes that are transforming our society economically, politically, and socially. As we pause to reflect on the first 8 years in this millennium as well as the future,

➣ an increasingly global economy has yielded growing competition among nations and the emergence of new economic powers such as China and India (nowhere is this competition more obvious than in our increasing reliance on the importation of oil and the outsourcing of jobs to other countries);

➣ the tumultuous performance of our economy has resulted in the largest congressional bailout since the Great Depression and major implications for our future;

➣ the workplace and skills that workers will need are being redefined—for example, 85% of all new jobs being created will require some postsecondary education (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2008);

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Preparing Global Educators: New Challenges for Teacher Education

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CATHERINE EMIHOVICH

With few exceptions, global and international education issues have not dominated the discourse or research on teacher education until recently. Merryfield (1995) notes that in the 1980s the National Governors Association called for teachers to be better prepared in global education and international studies, and in 1994 the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education added a standard for accreditation that mandated preparation in these same areas. For teacher education programs that are struggling to meet new mandates for accountability linked to No Child Left Behind, along with enhanced state standards requiring strengthened context expertise, the emphasis on global education appears to be one more demand among competing agendas, a task made more complicated by declining state budgets. Yet, as the publication of Thomas Friedman’s best-selling book The World Is Flat reminds us, the impact of globalization trends on educational systems cannot be ignored. Although this topic demands far more attention than can be given here, I want to briefly highlight several challenges that educators will need to address in preparing teachers to work in an increasingly multiracial, multicultural world and so help their students adapt to a more far-reaching global economic and political environment.

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The Matter of Globalization: Teacher Education in Volatile Times

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KENNETH TEITELBAUM

Thirty years ago, Maxine Greene (1978) wrote about mystification as it relates to teacher education during unquiet times. Emphasizing the ways in which industrial civilization tends to obscure the socially constructed nature of what we experience—including our sense of alienation and malaise, cynicism, and betrayal—she urged teacher educators to pursue “an interrogation of surface reality,” a heightened critique of what seems “natural,” and a renewed “wide-awakeness” and embrace of “authentic speaking” (pp. 54–55). Teachers have an important role to play with students in counteracting this mystification, and teacher education programs “ought to work to combat the sense of ineffectuality and powerlessness that comes when persons feel themselves to be the victims of forces wholly beyond their control, in fact beyond any human control” (p. 64).

This is no longer the industrial age; we are well beyond the economic stagnation that existed in the 1970s, and to say that these are “unquiet times” would be to seriously downplay the transitions of the 21st century. Globalization, seen from above and below (Singh, Kenway, & Apple, 2005), is transforming nation-states and local communities. The most recent financial crisis has made clear what most everyone already knew—that economies are increasingly interlocked and competitive and jobs that seem to be taking place in one country can actually exist, rather easily and more cheaply, elsewhere. Climates are so intertwined that the effects of environmental despoliation in one area can have literally rippling effects across the globe. The traditional boundaries between academic disciplines are being challenged by a host of vexing issues (e.g., infectious disease, security, poverty, energy, and global warming) that demand multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Technologies and media are ubiquitous, having the effect of bringing the peoples of the world closer together on a daily basis while providing increased opportunities for privatized (and transnational corporate) ventures. We are witnessing an unprecedented worldwide flow of immigration, in essence moving in all directions at once. Differing cultural practices come into contact in ways never dreamed before—whether the tourism of food, music, and the like or the more deeply embedded differing ways of thinking and speaking about and experiencing the world. Democratization and modernization are confronting fundamentalism and traditionalism with contentious results not only in the so-called underdeveloped or developing world but right at our doorsteps.

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Reflective Essay: What Are the Major Challenges Faced by Teacher Education in an Increasing Global Society?

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BELINDA BUSTOS FLORES

As I reflect on the question forming the title of this piece, I begin with a premise—namely, that we became teacher educators because we are motivated to make a difference. We are committed to education, and we feel compelled to prepare the next generation of teachers. With the best of intentions, I do not think that any one of us would settle for mediocrity or a reproduction of an oppressive educational system. Therefore, we must be willing to challenge ourselves and awaken our conscientizacion (sociocultural consciousness à la Freire) through a process of dialogic discourse situated within social praxis, reflection, and political action. It is through this process that we can uncover, appraise, and reconstruct our long-held beliefs. To initiate this discourse, I discuss several challenges throughout this essay.

What Are Our Reality and Perspectives?

We acquire our beliefs, values, and professed ideals through various experiences within our families and communities. Although these experiences greatly affect our ways of knowing, we must consider our enculturation within the schooling process, which is—by its very nature—a form of cultural reproduction. Moreover, we must recognize that education is still considered a luxury for those who are privileged members of our society. We must acknowledge that as teacher educators (including those of us who are minorities), we operate out of a perspective of privilege.

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Teacher Education, Deregulation, and the Neoliberal Global Agenda

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ANDREA J. STAIRS

J. AMOS HATCH

Lois Weiner (2007) asserts that neoliberalism is “a lethal threat to U.S. teacher education” (p. 274). Here, we argue that neoliberalism poses the most important challenge faced by teacher education in an increasingly global society. Neoliberal ideology—with its focus on competition, free markets, less government intervention, and more privatization of organizations—has insidiously spread throughout the world. Powerful political and economic forces have combined to coerce developing countries to adopt free market capitalism to receive international assistance, and neoliberal tenets are now assumed to be the single route to sound policy in all but a few international economies. Schooling across the globe has shifted to a tight focus on the production of human capital. Educators have been co-opted by global business interests acting in concert with government leaders; that is, the principles of neoliberalism are being applied to the “marketplace” of education in the United States and around the world. The threat to teacher education is immediate; the challenge to teacher educators in an increasingly global society is daunting.

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Global Is Not Gulf Shores: The Particular Challenge of “Place” in Teacher Education

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LISA SCHERFF

When asked to address the challenges faced by teacher education in an increasing global society, I can answer from only my place-based perspective: I teach in a Southern, conservative, primarily rural state where Whites outnumber Blacks two to one and where nearly 20% of the population falls below the poverty line (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). Whereas all teacher educators across the United States confront global issues in opening preservice teachers’ eyes to a broader worldview (excuse the pun) notwithstanding the narrowed curricula as a result of standardized testing and state control, each institution of higher education faces its own set of challenges, both internal and external. The combination and interplay of these issues curb the potential emotional, psychological, and pedagogical growth of preservice teachers.

Although there are countless issues in our increasingly global society that I could talk about—new literacies, economic disparity, and so on—in this essay, I would like to speak to two chief constraints that I and many of my departmental colleagues confront. Although I cannot speak for everyone, my views represent countless office and hallway discussions, as well as formal deliberations in scheduled meetings. I present my thoughts, not to malign others with whom I work or to disparage the teachers whose classrooms we visit, but to open up a more honest and open dialogue among stakeholders so that we all prepare teacher candidates in the best way possible.

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Globalization in the Face of Standardization: Implications for Teacher Education

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ROCIO DELGADO

PATRICIA NORMAN

Global changes are occurring at a fast and furious pace, with the current global economic crisis being just one example. Information technology is fueling the interaction and integration of people and nations across geographic, social, economic, and political boundaries. As globalization affects political and economic systems, cultures, and the environment, it affects the educational needs of a globalized workforce. In this complex, fast-evolving knowledge economy, workers must possess analytic skills, creativity, flexibility, and innovation. They need oral and written communication skills and the disposition to be lifelong learners who can locate and act on new knowledge as it is generated.

As today’s teacher candidates become the educators of an increasingly globalized society, they quickly encounter a challenging irony: The demands of the new economy suggest that students need to engage in serious intellectual pursuits—weighing evidence, seeing other ways of looking at the same data, identifying patterns, conjecturing, even arguing. Current policies such as No Child Left Behind, however, are not only narrowing the curriculum but positioning teachers as mere technicians who teach to standardized tests. Teacher candidates are entering the profession at a time of unprecedented educational decision making at the state and federal level. Preparing teachers for the paradoxical realities of globalization and standardization requires that we as teacher educators help them understand and embrace their advocacy role, not only of children and their families, but of the profession itself.

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Fostering Global Awareness, or What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

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THOMAS PHILION

With regard to enhancing teacher candidates’ global awareness, teacher education currently faces two challenges: indifference and inaction.

I base this claim primarily on observation and personal experience. Fostering global awareness is not a topic to which I hear my colleagues giving a lot of time and attention; correspondingly, I cannot think of a single student who has ever asked about global perspectives, even though I am sure that this has been an interest and concern for some. Over my 18 years of university teaching, I have given short shrift to global awareness, largely because other goals have taken precedence—such as providing teacher candidates with informed perspective on strategies for teaching reading and writing. Perhaps because teaching in the United States is such a local endeavor, nurturing awareness of global perspectives is rarely a priority.

I have recently begun to question this state of affairs, and admittedly, my steps have been small. This semester, in a course on teaching literacy in the content areas, I began with an overview of the state of literacy, not just in the United States, but in the world. Opportunities are out there, I explained, for teacher candidates to apply their knowledge and skills in contexts beyond the local. In courses on teaching literature, I am integrating texts with strong international connections, such as American Born Chinese (Yang, 2006) and Of Beetles and Angels (Asgedom, 2002), and leading discussions about the changing demographics of American education and the importance of reading widely. Although these steps are minor, they represent my new enthusiasm for global perspectives.

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Cultural Competence in a Global Society

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JEAN MOULE

A few years ago, one of my preservice students boldly planned a unit that presented to her kindergarteners the essence of an equitable society. She carefully received permission for her wonderfully unorthodox idea and laid the groundwork with parents and colleagues. On the given day, she roped off a section of the playground for her students; elsewhere, she put up signs: NO KINDERGARTENERS ALLOWED. She essentially took away some of their freedoms and introduced them to important issues—issues well beyond their own classroom and communities.

This question of reaching beyond the borders of our United States and considering our increasing global society must start in concentric circles, with us as center, perhaps beginning from our hearts and certainly with those around us. Therefore, in an effort to model these concentric circles and in the spirit of dialogue, I asked 4 colleagues and 30 preservice teachers the question “What are the major challenges faced by teacher education in an increasing global society?”

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