Beacons of light, rays, or sun catchers? A case study of the positioning of literacy teachers and their knowledge in neoliberal times

From Section:
Professional Development
Feb. 15, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 303-315

This paper reports on a case study of a “lead literacy teacher” initiative in one Canadian province. This initiative is related to a “minority world” trend in teacher in-service that seeks to develop “experts” in a field with the intent that such experts can help other teachers to raise student achievement for the betterment of the economy.

Using a post-colonial theoretical framework that advocates for professional development premised on teacher knowledge production, the study finds that the initiative instead forwards a “train-the-trainer” model of information transmission that negates teachers' prior knowledge, experience, and practices. The study argues that for teachers to become critically reflective in their practice, they need material supports (e.g., time) to share with one another and knowledge must be allowed to flow in all directions within the educational hierarchy.

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
Literacy | Postcolonial theory | Professional development | Reforms