teachers & teaching



Learning to Teach in an Era of Privatization: Global Trends in Teacher Preparation

Educating aspiring teachers for the workforce is a crucial consideration for states and nations.  But in an age of consumer choice, decentralization, and deregulation in education, as in other areas, policymakers sometimes demonstrate surprisingly little awareness of the impacts of such popular reforms on those doing the actual teaching, and especially on their preparation for the profession.  This raises a number of questions: To what extent has the push for privatization and marketization of education shaped how we recruit and train the next generation of teachers?  What are they taught and why?  How do such policies impact the dispositions of colleges of education and alternative teacher certification organizations?  The growing tide of educational reforms that seek to inject competition into education schools’ “monopoly” on teacher training find ideological roots in Friedmanism and the push for deregulation in the 1980s.  Readers of this text will develop a more robust understanding of the nature of teacher preparation – broadly conceived – as well as an in-depth understanding of how these policies, practices, and ideology have taken root in colleges of education and alternative certification programs domestically and internationally.  Becoming a Teacher in an Age of Reform: Global Lessons for Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession is Co-Edited by Christopher A. Lubienski and T. Jameson Brewer.

peer-reviewed articles


Forbes 30 Under 30 in Education: Manufacturing "Edu-Preneur" Networks to Promote and Reinforce Privatization/Marketization in Education

Each year Forbes bestows a handful of “edu-preneurs” with the 30 Under 30 Award in Education (Under30), designating those individuals as the best hope for revolutionizing and reforming education. Boasting low recipient rates, Forbeselevates the manufactured expertise of awardees and the importance of their organizations and ventures. Further, Forbesemploys the language and norms of neoliberalism to articulate a pro-market vision of education reform. This social network analytic (SNA) study seeks to untangle the edu-preneur network to critically examine the connections between awardees, their organizations, judges, and the larger education reform network. To this end, we utilized descriptive analyses and SNA. We find evidence that Under30 serves as a mechanism for promoting social closure and ideological homophily within education reform networks. Further, we consider the policy implications that such awards may have on public discourse and policy creation.  

Related Material:

Washington Post op-ed

Examining the Myth of Accountability, High-Stakes Testing, and the Achievement Gap

For about a hundred years, high-stakes standardized tests have been used to sort and track students in the United States. The use of tests was spurred early on by the racist eugenics movement to affirm its belief that one race was intellectually superior to another (Sacks, 1999).  This article examines the growth of standardized testing, the ideological foundations of accountability, the legal challenges and landscape that has fostered testing, and explores the dangers and ethics of high-stakes accountability in American education.

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Islands Unto Themselves: How Merit Pay Schemes Undermine Teacher Collaboration

Educational reforms have become the new policy mainstay in educational discourse and policy. Without doubt, “fixing” teachers and increasing student test scores have both been a large component of much of the reform rhetoric. Moreover, calls for implementing merit pay schemes have uniquely combined reformer’s efforts to “fix” teachers while increasing test scores as teacher pay is linked directly to student academic achievement. This article traces the historical use of merit pay schemes, situates the current push for merit pay within the neoliberal education reform movement, while highlighting the overt and covert implications of injecting competition into teacher salaries. In addition to creating an environment that lends itself to narrowed pedagogical approaches and teaching to tests (and even cheating on them), this article suggests that merit pay schemes that require teachers to compete with one another may likely undermines positive collaboration.  

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Rousseau Plays Outside in Norway: A Personal Reflection on How Norwegian Outdoor Kindergartens Employ Rousseauian Pedagogical Methods of Play

This article seeks to characterize Norwegian kindergarten pedagogy as specifically Rousseauian in nature and approach. As a reflective article, my experience of pedagogical methods of play employed at an outdoor kindergarten in Norway are analyzed and compared to my experience of American schooling. Norwegian kindergartens that employ such Rousseauian practices reinforce Norway’s dedication to fostering an egalitarian society beginning with the youngest learners..  

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book chapters


Educating in the Margins: Understanding Social Justice Education in the Space Between the Urban and the Rural

Coming Soon.


It Takes More than a Village, it Takes a Country

This chapter explores the viability of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding as a means to assist with student loan debt. This chapter first explores how neoliberal policies have encouraged the growth of student loan debt. Next, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are outlined, including descriptions of various organizations that utilize crowdfunding methods to ease student loan debt. Third, a crowdfunding model is explored using data and demands from an active online community, the results of which indicate that although large amounts of money could be raised, after 15 years, under this model, the amount of money raised would not rival the amount of combined debt that the group currently owns. Conclusions are centered on the inability of these organizations to make deep impacts on total student loan debt and discuss national level efforts that policymakers can engage it to solve this issue. 

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Other works