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Tep Vol 16-N2

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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 Note: Announcing a New Publishing Schedule

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Dear Subscribers and Readers:

The editorial staff of Teacher Education and Practice (TE&P) is excited about its new partnership with ScarecrowEducation. With the publication of the spring 2003 issue, we began a journey of transition and change in the journal, bringing forward a new design, as well as renewed commitment to publishing a journal for teacher educators and teacher practitioners.

The editorial staff seeks to advance national and international conversations concerning policy, preparation, and practice in the teaching profession. As we move forward in 2003 with our next issues, we will be making additional changes, one in particular will be the change to a calendar year publication. This transition will be implemented as we conclude the publication of our last issue of volume 16 for 2003. Beginning with volume 17 for 2004, we will hallmark issue 1 of each publication year as our winter issue. This transition to a calendar year publication will align TE&P with the schedule followed by companion journal publications.

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Editorial: Teaching for Social Justice—Teacher Education and Democracy at a Crossroads

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. (Neibuhr, 1946, p. xi)

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. (King, 1963, p. 77)

Teaching for social justice is a decidedly political activity, situated amid growing racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity. Teaching for social justice is taking a dialectical stance that favors equitable and just treatment of all students, acknowledging that when and where there are relative differences, distinctions must be made. Teaching for social justice is to recognize that diversity is a defining element of our society, and as such it is a defining element of our democratic way of life. When we fail to embrace diversity, when we fail to challenge injustice and inequity, we simultaneously undermine the viability of our democratic society.

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The Progressive Legacy of Democracy and Culture in the United States: Teachers and Teacher Educators as Brokers

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JAMES FRASER

ABSTRACT: The author shares substantive contents of a presentation given in a major forum at the 55th annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 25, 2003. Examining the dynamic relationship between democracy and culture in the United States, the author proposes three elements necessary to developing a democratic system of teacher preparation.

As we explore the meaning of the progressive legacy for 21st-century teacher education, I think it is essential that we remember John Dewey’s quip that to be progressive, progressive education needs always to be making progress. Let me propose three elements that I believe will help us make progress in developing a democratic system of teacher preparation or, perhaps better, a system for the preparation of teachers who are so deeply steeped in a democratic educational ideal that they will be effective agents of cultural understanding and democratic practice throughout their careers.

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Face-to-Face Over Race: Personal Challenges From Instituting a Social Justice Perspective in Our Teacher Education Program

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JEAN MOULE AND EILEEN DUGAN WALDSCHMIDT

ABSTRACT: The authors, one African American and one white, use personal narrative and dialogue to examine the process of implementing a social justice perspective into a teacher education program. The process reported in this article unearthed issues related to race that caused unexpected tensions among a small faculty. For the white educator, this process entailed continuing a critical self-examination of her own racial identity development. For the African American faculty member, the process proved particularly stressful and isolating, yet led to an increased understanding of the nature of institutional racism. The authors’ hope is that through sharing our struggles around race and social justice, others will be encouraged to begin or continue such transformative journeys.

Teacher educators often face the challenge of leading their student teachers into sound educational practices for diverse populations when they have not had much extensive work with diverse populations themselves (Delpit, 1995; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Nieto, 2000). Often an unexpected outcome for teacher educators, when they are trying to provide an authentic experience with diverse populations for student teachers, is their own personal encounter with issues of racism that need to be resolved (Ayers, Hunt, & Quinn, 1998). We are both females, one African American assistant professor and one European American female associate professor, at a large research institution. We embarked on a journey to gain an increased understanding of the process of integrating a social justice perspective into a teacher education program. During this time, one particular issue surfaced that we will use as an example of the tensions that arose. We, as a faculty, were trying to give our students a field experience in diverse settings. In our location this meant long-distance travel. And while concerns about weather, time, danger on the road, and changes in the structure of the program loomed large, the reluctance to commit to these changes could also be seen as a reluctance to implement our vision of social justice. This was one of the issues that we struggled with, and the different perspectives on both the meaning of social justice and how it could be realized with our students came down to being face-to-face over issues of race.

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“Not All People Are Like Me”: Addressing Diversity From a Newfound Awareness

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MARGARET COMPTON-HALL

ABSTRACT: Teachers face challenges as they strive to make their teaching more culturally responsive. This article reports the results of a study that indicates that teachers’ understandings are shaped by their cultures and that their responses to issues related to diversity are context specific and vary depending on their prior knowledge, life experiences, and understandings of diversity. Examples of the four major categories (conscious competence, unconscious competence, lack of awareness, and lack of concern) illustrate how teachers’ instruction reflects or fails to reflect multicultural understanding.

The population of the United States is in transition. “The ‘typical’ student for whom educators’ pedagogy and prescription are designed is an endangered species. Highly motivated, achievement-oriented, white, middle-class students from two-parent families are becoming scarce in most school systems” (Irvine, 1992, p. 79). The population of this country is becoming more and more a society in which many ethnic, religious, and cultural groups coexist. The dawning of the 21st century will bring even greater change in the racial and ethnic proportions of this country (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2002). Currently, in some regions of the United States, the word “minority” is no longer appropriate because the so-called minority is actually the numerical majority (Garcia & Pugh, 1992). In addition, Hodgkinson (1993) predicted that by the year 2000 36% of school-aged children would be “minority” and one fourth of all students would be living below the poverty line.

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Our Responsibility: A Perspective on “Taking a Stand”

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RUDOLFO CHÁVEZ CHÁVEZ

ABSTRACT: This article examines the challenges of our work as multicultural teacher educators, explicating this perspective on what “taking a stand” means and the importance of infusing a praxis of multicultural education throughout the curricula of our professional teacher education programs. It is argued that as cultural workers/teacher educators, we have the responsibility to embrace civic courage, compassion, cultural and social justice, equity, and, more importantly, to deconstruct dominant and subordinating stories. It is further argued that this is a social democratic project that will require of us not only epistemological understandings but, more important, eschatological understandings of what we believe we can be when engaged pedagogically.

No matter how we as a community come about co-constructing the language of multiculturalism, social justice, and democratic praxis, one thing is certain, because each and every “one” of us has a unique social and contextual construct, such language will and should be contested and interrogated not only alone but in community. Because such opportunities are infinite, contestation and interrogation will be part of the process of co-constructing with the Other in community as teaching and learning opportunities. In turn, because we can contest and interrogate, our responsibility to the teacher education community must weigh heavily on each of “us.” I believe that it is our ontogenetic responsibility to struggle within an academic community and community at-large to construct a dialogic dialectic that addresses the reasons “why” we must practice a multicultural education in a diverse society and the ways “how” we will continue to be teachers and learners in a diverse society that stand for social justice and democratic action.

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Teaching for Democratic Practice: Three Strategies for the Social Studies Methods Course

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CAROLINE R. PRYOR

ABSTRACT: This article discusses three strategies designed to support a college of education mission to prepare democratic practitioners. These strategies are: increasing civic knowledge (Butts, 1993), reflecting on civic values (Ross & Yeager, 1999), and organizing field experiences that promote democratic practice (Rainer & Guyton, 1999). Activities for implementing these strategies in K–6 methods courses are discussed. Outcomes of the activities included: (a) an online annotated bibliography of children’s literature for teaching civics, (b) preservice teachers’ analyses of civic values used by their mentor teacher, and (c) implementation of lesson plans modified for democratic practice.

Once an intern [a preservice teacher] related a playground story about name-calling and race. This led to a few minutes of rich discussion and also triggered memories of others to relate their stories. These incidents were an opportunity to highlight the point that democratic practice is a part of school every day, not just during social studies. Throughout the semester there were many opportunities to refer to LF [liberty-freedom], JF [justice-fairness] and EEO [equality-equal opportunity]. The labels provided a quick reference point to share in concrete ways—meaningful examples of democratic practices that interns were or were not observing and as a result will encourage the student to incorporate democratic practices into their curriculum. (Integrated Methods Program, Social Studies Instructor)

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Book Review: Schools of Recognition: Identity Politics and Classroom Practices by Charles Bingham

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(New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), 169 pages $22.95

FAYE HICKS-TOWNES

As our public classrooms become more and more culturally diverse, and our classroom teachers become more and more homogenized, attention to multicultural education becomes more pressing. When difference is treated negatively in the school setting the impact reverberates from the individual student to society as a whole (Nieto, 2000). In Schools of Recognition Bingham offers recognition as a way to illuminate education practices that encourage and perpetuate negative encounters with difference. Initially defining recognition as “the act of acknowledging others, and coming to be acknowledged by others” (p. 3), Bingham takes us on a journey that clearly reveals that this simple definition of recognition is woefully inadequate. Bingham does not, and it is not his intent to, provide a theory of recognition for education. Rather, he acknowledges that aspects of recognition are imbedded in existing educational theories. His exploration, however, does lay the groundwork for addressing concerns regarding recognition in the educational setting. Bingham addresses four specific questions in his work:

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