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Contested Sites in Education

The Quest for the Public Intellectual, Identity and Service

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Karen Ragoonaden

Emerging from the contested site of a new university campus, educators reflect upon the transformative process of reconceptualising and rebuilding a faculty of education in the twenty-first century. Contested Sites in Education seeks to improve an understanding of and conversations about the nature, meaning and significance of higher education’s public service within the scope of a democratic society. This volume offers educators and students a praxis-oriented, hope-infused, contemplative approach to conceiving, developing and in some cases, returning to public service and public identity in the twenty-first century. Contested Sites in Education will prepare future leaders who thoroughly understand, consciously apply and intentionally use democracy, selfknowledge, cultural knowledge, habits of mind, reflective learning communities and advocacy in their professional lives.
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Introduction: Ethical Teacher Dilemmas in a Neoliberal Age

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← viii | 1 → Introduction

Ethical Teacher Dilemmas in a Neoliberal Age

KAREN RAGOONADEN

Emerging from the confines of an academic institution in transition from a college to a university, this book offers provocative insights into the impact of change on the sense of agency and the ensuing consequences on the personal and professional identities of seven academics at various stages of their career. Recognizing the serious debate surrounding the raison d’être of higher education (Christensen & Eyring, 2011; Emberley, 1996), this volume explores how faculty members wrestled with the inherent tension of the corporatization of the university ensconced in research intensive mandates and the challenge of fulfilling their formative mission: to develop intellectual and cultural resources to prepare themselves and their students for lives of significance and responsibility (Sullivan & Rosin, 2008). As members of a Faculty of Education, the authors were responsible for preparing educators for the profession of teaching and accountable to the accreditation standards established by the governing bodies of education. Consequently as scholar practitioners, their research agenda was often field based and applied, and as public intellectuals they strove to influence change and direction in policy and practice in the profession. Yet, despite their professional and ethical commitments to their students and to education, the pervasive neo-liberal agenda with its emphasis on productivity and accountability for research output significantly affected the culture and nature of work of academics, particularly those who have not yet attained the security and...

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