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Effective or Wise?

Teaching and the Meaning of Professional Dispositions in Education


Edited By Julie A. Gorlewski, David A. Gorlewski, Jed Hopkins and Brad J. Porfilio

In our work as educators, we all aspire to be effective. We also aspire to be wise. If teachers are to represent and advocate for education, we must become the stewards of a discourse that nurtures education’s possibilities. This book explores how teacher dispositions are defined, developed, cultivated, and assessed. The authors in the volume consider the various and interconnected ways in which educators’ values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are performed and how these performances affect experiences and practices of learning. This text investigates complex questions, such as: How should teachers be? and Who should decide how teachers should be? In different ways, all the chapters in this book invite us into the work of reinvigorating educational discourse. The contributors contradict the idea that wisdom is the province of the lone genius who possesses knowledge that is obscure to the majority. Instead, they ask us all to participate in the necessarily collaborative endeavor of discourse stewardship in – as grand as it may sound – the pursuit of wisdom.


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Kelly H. Ahuna is program coordinator of the MSED Adolescent and Elementary Education Programs at Medaille College, where she prepares future teachers. Prior to her work at Medaille, Dr. Ahuna ran an undergraduate critical think- ing program for 10 years. Her interests lie at the intersection of teacher and learner effectiveness. J. Benchik-Osborne is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education at Dominican University, where her work concentrates on the study of social foundations of education. Her research focuses on the application of SFE con- tent and skills to expand problem-solving strategies and subject matter while also supporting students’ cultures and life experiences in K-12 classrooms. T. Jameson Brewer is a PhD student in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois, where he studies Teach For America and other neolib- eral movements in public education. He holds an MS in Social Foundations of Education from Georgia State University and a BSEd in Secondary Edu- cation from Valdosta State University. Anthony Cody worked for 24 years in schools in Oakland, California, 18 of which were spent teaching science at a high needs middle school. He now lives in Mendocino County, California, and authors the widely read Living in Dialogue blog at Education Week; he also co-founded the Network for Public Education. 266 | contributors Susan Dunkle, an assistant professor of Adolescent Education at Medaille Col- lege, has an EdD in Educational Leadership and an MA in Adolescent Social Studies and Elementary Education, and has taught at D’Youville and Canisius...

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