Decanonizing the Field
Edited By João M. Paraskeva and Shirley R. Steinberg
Part VI: Teacher education, narratives, and social justice
part vi teacher education, narratives, and social justice · 3 1 · the curriculum and the classroom1 Joe L. Kincheloe I have a vision of teachers who are self-directed scholar-professionals who pro- duce their own knowledges and diagnose the needs of their students. In this empowered vision of the profession, teachers are also curriculum developers. Here a central theme reemerges: the struggle in the twenty-first century for teachers to control their profession and engage in meaningful pedagogies in light of efforts to control and standardize every dimension of their work. A key dimension of the effort to become self-directed professionals involves teachers operating as curriculum developers. This chapter focuses on what it might mean to be a teacher who is a curriculum developer. Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I’ve Had My Share: Dealing with a Repressive Era Contemporary efforts at educational reform, with their specified facts to be learned for standardized tests, handcuff teachers as they attempt to teach complex concepts and to connect them with the needs and lived experiences of students. In this crazy context such educators are victimized by a simplis- tic and frightened response to social change, youth-in-crisis, or a decline in standardized test scores. Putting their faith in reductionistic measurements of 612 joe l. kincheloe student memorization of disparate fragments of data, advocates of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and other top-down reforms have no basis for evaluating more sophisticated dimensions of learning, thinking, and teaching. Indeed, they can’t measure even the traditional skills of good...
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