Essays in Education


Agreeing that a major goal of teacher education is to prepare individuals for informed citizenship in a democratic society, do standards lead toward social change promoting active citizenship of both teacher and student? We approach this question from two perspectives: one is a cultural approach grounded in critical pedagogy and the other is a policy approach based on the use of standards in teaching. We focus on a critical pedagogy in teacher education because of the goal of preparing citizens for participation in a democratic society. Highlighting three tenets of critical pedagogy, (a) reflection upon the individual’s culture or lived experience, (b) development of voice through a critical look at one’s world and society, and (c) transforming the society toward equality for all citizens through active participation in democratic imperatives, we focus on these tenets of critical theory in light of one set of teaching standards, specifically considering the standards’ facilitation toward or hindrance to social justice preparation in teacher education.

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