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

Paul Crutcher


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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