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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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Chapter One: Setting the Path Toward Emancipatory Practices: Professor of Teaching

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← 8 | 9 → CHAPTER ONE

Setting the Path Toward Emancipatory Practices

Professor of Teaching

KAREN RAGOONADEN

Arising from the contested site of a new university campus, this chapter reflects on the transformative process of reconceptualizing and rebuilding a professional and academic stream in a twenty-first-century Faculty of Education. In particular, the discussion will reflect the impact of this agency of change on one tenure-track faculty member who was hired into a new research-intense university at a time when the campus did not possess resources and parameters for conceptualizing, supporting, and developing research. To maximize her capital, this assistant professor sought tenure in an innovative new stream introduced to her campus, Professor of Teaching. The novel rank reflected the commitment of the university to provide educational leadership, outstanding teaching, and curriculum innovation to higher education. However, despite the fact that outstanding achievement was required in these areas, guidelines for promotion to Professor were not directive and exhaustive but more so suggestive and situated in place-based environments. Within the context of a market-driven and policy-laden postsecondary institution, this was problematic. Since evidence supporting promotion to full professor is dependent on the discipline and the Faculty, myriad interpretations of what exactly constituted a Professor of Teaching emerged. Chaos, blunders, and misunderstandings ensued. Based on the ambiguity of these policies, of singular interest is the discussion surrounding the experiences of otherness and marginalization that arose as this scholar practitioner focused on her work as a teacher educator...

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