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Agency through Teacher Education: Reflection, Community, and Learning (Paperback)
  • Agency through Teacher Education: Reflection, Community, and Learning (Paperback)

Agency through Teacher Education: Reflection, Community, and Learning (Paperback)

(editor), (editor), (editor), (editor), (foreword)
Paperback 212 Pages / Published: 27/12/2012
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Agency through Teacher Education: Reflection, Community, and Learning addresses the ways that agency functions for those involved in twenty-first-century teacher education. This book, commissioned by the Association of Teacher Educators, relies on the voices of teacher education candidates, in-service teachers, school leaders, and university-based educators to illustrate what agency looks like, sounds like, and feels like for people trying to act as agents of change.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781610489188
Number of pages: 212
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 253 x 178 x 13 mm

What makes education in a democracy distinctive? Why is equity in our schools necessary and why are community connections vital? How can teacher-student relationships become more meaningful and powerful? Why is teacher agency and efficacy indispensable in effective classrooms? What constitutes good teaching? These kinds of questions animate every page of this important collection, and they power the efforts of the group of smart and talented educators assembled here. Their collective ambition is to transcend the surface arguments about this or that reform agenda and to illuminate the complexity at the heart of education in and for democracy. In the process they show us how teachers can function in the system as it is-the system of valuing anything that can be quantified over everything that can't-even as they plant seeds for a future that is more vital, more joyous, and more just. In asking these first and fundamental questions of themselves, and then transparently and courageously thinking them through out loud as they discover fresh, dynamic answers, they not only advocate for the power of agency and reflective action in teaching, they show us how it's done. -- William Ayers, educational theorist, author, and distinguished professor of education and senior university scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago
In Agency through Teacher Education, readers have the opportunity to share the experience of teachers and teacher educators recapturing the ideals and the enthusiasm that first brought them to the classroom. The volatile mixture of optimism and deep dissatisfaction that motivates so many of the contributors to this volume gives each chapter an urgency that inspires us to reconnect with one another, to take risks in our classrooms, and to challenge systems of power that place external systems of accountability above teachers' own agency and empowerment. With examples that integrate clear theoretical foundations with practical exemplars this volume provides important tools for educators, administrators, and community partners who understand that addressing the challenges of education is everyone's responsibility-demanding that we show the same creativity, determination, and willingness to work together to bring about positive change that is reflected in the projects collected here. -- Mary Brydon-Miller, Ph.D., Director, Action Research Center Associate Professor of Urban Educational Leadership and Educational Foundations University of C
I was both heartened and challenged by this book. It offers rich, very readable narratives of empowering practices of a wide range of educators. It is particularly timely and appreciated in an era where the discourse surrounding teaching is often negative and disempowerment of teachers is increasingly common. This book offers an alternative conception of educators as passionate, questioning, professionals refining their practices to improve education from within. It does not gloss over the complexities of this work and in that sense challenges all of us to rethink everyday practices of schooling. What struck me most is that the book reads as a labor of love, crafted by educators committed to a vision of teachers as active contributors to their own learning and the education of the students they serve. -- Kathryn Herr, professor,department chair, Educational Foundations, Montclair State University, NJ
In this age of scripted curriculum, teacher accountability, and critiques of schooling, it is refreshing to encounter a book that points to not only potential solutions but also the unrecognized talents and abilities of teachers. Schools of education and teacher educators are key to reforming education - not through mandates,programs and policies - but through the creative, agental, and intellectual capacities of teachers. This book advocates for schools of education and schools to provide spaces where educators can nurture, foster, and sustain reflective practices, as well as community activism, and agency as a means to continued learning for children. Most importantly, the chapter authors provide readers with concrete, practical, and clearly stated strategies that can make a difference. The authors maintain that change is possible and that things that can be done to improve education. The book is filled with examples of teachers and teacher educators claiming agency and spaces for change. These examples explore agency in a range of educational settings highlighting various stages in the careers of teachers - from the experiences of pre-service teachers to the accomplishments of veteran educators who have found ways to nurture teacher agency in their roles as school leaders and teacher educators. Compelling among the arguments presented in this book is the revelation that teachers are educated by colleagues, families, and communities as well as teacher educators in colleges and universities and that knowledge or self, community, and children are key to powerful teaching. Both of these points highlight the active and agental role of educators. As the editors argue, educating children requires that teachers have a "permanent claim on the right to agency" (p. 21) as both a professional and personal obligation. -- Catherine Compton-Lilly, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin, Author of books such as Reading Families: The Literate Lives of Urban Children and Confronting Racism, Poverty, and Power: Classroom Strategies to Change the World
The most striking thing about this book is its overwhelming sense of hope about the future of teaching and teacher education. Agency through Teacher Education does just what it sets out to-it reclaims teacher agency by providing vivid accounts of the work of university teacher educators, school-based teachers, school leaders, parents and community members. The book's authors are the new generation of teacher educators and leaders, and their ideas bring a breath of fresh air to enduring questions about reflection, activism and leadership. -- Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Cawthorne professor of teacher education for urban schools, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

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