Teachers at the Table is based on the simple premise that policy matters in education and teachers matter to policy. Policy reflects and shapes society's beliefs about schools, teachers, children, learning, and society, as well as the power structures embedded in our communities and decision-making processes. If policy is a public response to perceived social problems, it matters who is at the table when the problems are defined, the agendas set, and the policy itself designed. Although teachers may be central to the implementation of education policy, they are marginal to the design of it, especially around issues of teaching and learning. In short, teachers are not at the table. This is important because the lack of teacher voice in educational policymaking disconnects the goals and design of education policy from the actual lived challenges of implementing it.
This book draws on a qualitative case study with both practicing and pre-service teachers involved in a policy advocacy professional development program. Findings from the study illustrate norms and routines (the nature of teachers' work, hierarchy of authority and professional status) that act as barriers to teacher involvement in policy creation. The book then follows with clear examples of teacher "pushback" against these same norms and details the conditions under which teachers can interact in authentic ways with decision making structures in schools and policy. Teachers at the Table is a unique examination into these dynamics, informing the critical efforts of teacher leaders to participate in educational policy creation, and helps us to understand, and more importantly, act upon the structures around teachers to better support their involvement in policymaking - with the ultimate goal of producing better educational policy that is more relevant and responsive to the youth, educators, families, and communities it serves.
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 152
Weight: 426 g
Dimensions: 237 x 163 x 16 mm
Timely, engaging, and meticulously researched, Teachers at the Table: Voice, Agency, and Advocacy in Educational Policymaking offers invaluable insight into the institutional dynamics that inhibit teacher involvement in educational policy design. At the same time, it foregrounds the stories of teachers who challenge these dynamics to engage in policymaking in a variety of ways. An essential text for all teachers and teacher educators. -- May Hara, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
Good is one of a handful of authors to study education policy from the perspective of teachers' essential voice and expertise. This important book provides a compelling argument for deeply engaging teachers at every level of instructional policymaking. It is a critical read at a time when teachers' legitimate rights to organize for better policy and conditions are under siege. -- Patricia Burch, associate professor of education