Equity, Democracy, and Neoliberal Assaults on Teacher Education

Nov. 10, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 8, November 2008, P. 1947-1957

Although in the long run, neoliberalism has a track record of undermining equity and democracy, in the short run it has directed attention to education needs that have been inadequately addressed. This article sketches what teacher education in the US can do to advance equity and democracy in five areas: recruitment and admission, early fieldwork, professional coursework, student teaching, and on-going professional development.

The article then examines three neoliberal pressures teacher education:
(1) away from explicit equity-oriented teacher preparation, and toward preparing teachers as technicians;
(2) away from defining teacher quality in terms of professional knowledge, and toward defining it terms testable content knowledge;
and (3) toward shortening university-based teacher education or by-passing it altogether.

It concludes by emphasizing the importance of collaborating with underserved communities as a way of pushing back against neoliberalism.

Updated: Jan. 19, 2009