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Unsettling Education

Searching for Ethical Footing in a Time of Reform


Edited By Brian Charest and Kate Sjostrom

Unsettling Education: Searching for Ethical Footing in a Time of Reform offers a counter-narrative to the prevailing orthodoxies of schooling and school reform that conflate education and learning with that which can be measured on state-mandated examinations. Despite the push to "settle" the purposes of teaching and schooling in ways that see education as the teaching of a discrete set of skills that align with standardized exams, there are teachers and students who continue to resist standardization and whose stories suggest there are many ways to organize schools, design curriculum, and understand the purposes of education. Unsettling Education shares stories of how teachers have resisted state and local mandates to teach to the test in dehumanizing ways, how such teachers have sought to de-commodify educational spaces, how they have enacted their ethical commitments to students and communities, and how they have theorized such practices, sometimes even reconsidering their roles as teachers and the very purposes of schooling. Volume contributors offer concrete ways in which teachers might challenge the structures of schooling to reveal the full humanity and potential of students through different forms of resistance pedagogy, institutional critiques, and critical self-reflection. Featuring a wide range of voices and contexts, the collections’ chapters blend story and theory, resulting in a volume both accessible and thought-provoking to varied audiences—from undergraduate students of education and concerned citizens to veteran educators, teacher educators, administrators, and policymakers.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Charest, Brian, editor. | Sjostrom, Kate, editor. Title: Unsettling education: searching for ethical footing in a time of reform / edited by Brian Charest and Kate Sjostrom. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2019. Series: Social justice across contexts in education; vol. 11 ISSN 2372-6849 (print) | ISSN 2372-6857 (online) Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2019002533 | ISBN 978-1-4331-6350-0 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-6701-0 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4331-6702-7 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-6703-4 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-6704-1 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Education and state—United States. Education—Standards—United States. | Educational change—United States. Education—Aims and objectives—United States. Educational tests and measurements—United States. Classification: LCC LC89 .U59 2019 | DDC 379.73—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b15559

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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