The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
26. Infinite Jurisdiction: Managing Achievement In and Out of School
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Managing Achievement In and Out of School
Like international humanitarian workers, the TFA corps members I encountered in my classes were driven by a dual sense of optimism and ambition, eager to remedy societal inequities and willing to relocate to unfamiliar geographic settings in order to do so. Moreover, the corps members I taught seemed to struggle with many of the same broader questions faced by humanitarian workers including: What is the individual’s role in working for large-scale change? Who are the recipients of our help and who is to blame for their problems? What future do we as “helpers” imagine for those we are aiming to help and what actions do we take to achieve these outcomes? And lastly, what does it mean to leave “the field” and how is the decision to leave justified when the work is clearly unfinished and ongoing?
Like aid workers who must negotiate a number of bureaucracies in order to fulfill their mandate to provide assistance to impoverished populations, corps members had to contend with myriad complexities in their efforts to address the long-standing achievement gap between white and minority students. Moreover, corps members also had specific notions regarding who they were trying to “help.” If critical interventions in any context assume that the “victims” are somehow deficient or lacking in agency, profound change is unlikely. The ways in which corps members...
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