Conviction, Confrontation, and Risk in New Teachers' Advocating for Equity

From Section:
Trends in Teacher Education
Jun. 17, 2007

Source: Teaching Education, Volume 18, Issue 2, June 2007, pages 123 – 136

Despite frustration with school constraints, new teachers who graduated from a program focused on advocacy for equity spoke for students in need in school forums and spoke up about issues of equity.

Speaking for students, driven by convictions about equitable access to resources and a responsibility to act, often helped garner support and affected attitudes and school practices. However, this did not occur cost-free. Despite apparently strong preparation to advocate for equity, teachers reported that advocacy required persistence and sometimes confrontation with colleagues and administrators, some describing an assessment of risk, often feeling vulnerable in new jobs.

A case of one teacher's advocacy for special needs students and for one boy in particular illustrates these issues. Suggestions are offered for ways teacher education can prepare teachers to speak for students in need and speak up and against practices and policies that impede equity.

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
Attitudes | Diversity | Teacher development | Teachers’ work