Exploring Possibility: Challenging Curriculum, Students, and Teachers to be Engaged and Critical

Paul Crutcher

Abstract


I situate a curricular change I made in a literature course in a preservice teacher education (TE) program in the current politics of education. Facing broad preservice teacher apathy for critical or thoughtful work, I argue that TE students who don't critically engage their worlds are (reasonably) less likely to critically engage and address issues they face as new teachers. In a state exporting teachers, and with most new teachers starting in under-serviced urban schools, the impact of students refusing to consider the racist subtext of a picturebook, for instance, could have devastating effects on schools, students, and communities who can least afford them. Not a slippery slope, here, since this phenomenon exists already in K-12 education"”I propose that by working as I did in my course, we can start to explore a much more productive and generative "possibility" for the immediate and long-term future of education.


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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing, and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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