The following paper describes a pilot project in anti-colonial pedagogy for English Language Learning (ELL). This anti-colonial curriculum and pedagogy was developed by drawing from anti-colonial and Marxist theorizations of migration, settler colonialism, and imperialism as well as insights from critical adult education. This paper explores the conceptualization of anti-colonial pedagogy through attention to dialectical social contradictions and attends to how contradictions were used to frame curricular choices and informed classroom practices. The utilization of dialectical contradictions in anti-colonial pedagogy drew attention to the role played by ideologies of liberalism, in particular, in mediating the student learning experience. The implications of ideological mediation in student learning are considered for critical and radical educators.
In 2009, John Hattie’s book Visible Learning: A Synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement brought big data to education. In the decade and a half since Visible Learning was originally published it has been aggressively marketed and has now grown into a large suite of branded books, tools, and products. Visible Learning continues to exert influence over educational thinking, policy design, and decision making. This critical essay probes the foundations of Visible Learning, seeking to better understand the work’s significance. Criticism is leveled at the methodology, positionality, capitalistic motivations, and mischaracterization of science underpinning the book and the subsequent franchise that has grown from it. The essay argues that the philosophy of education represented by Visible Learning resides within a reductive neoliberal ideology that pushes problematic reform, demands unreasonable accountability, and promotes the de-professionalization of teachers.
Learning loss due to the pandemic has become a significant global concern. The purpose of this paper is to understand newspaper coverage of the COVID-19 learning loss. Critical discourse analysis with a lens of critical race theory is utilized to analyze (N = 50) newspaper articles. Results include: constructions of youth identities, racialized constructions of youth identities, factualized portrayals of learning loss, and the neoliberal narrative. Deficit-based student failings and an overarching crisis narrative negatively constructed youth identities. Generalized learning deficiencies and disproportionate impact led to racialized portrayals of loss, stigmatizing youth of color through de-contextualized and ahistorical patterns. Factualized portrayals of learning loss took shape through linguistical structure, word choices, data-based emphasis, and an expert narrative. Discourse depicted as fact undergirded the neoliberal narrative and justified increased testing and reform in schools. Implications of the analysis and recommendations to elevate support and strengthen youth voice are discussed.
With this paper, we present an autoethnographic analysis of one traditionally trained teacher’s experience working in an urban charter school with predominantly TFA-trained colleagues. To begin, we provide a review of literature that highlights the research landscape’s hyper-focus on the experiences of TFA CMs, after which we describe the theoretical work that has informed this study, most notably Thomas (2018), who uses sociocultural policy studies to describe how TFA CMs embodied controversial education policies. We then outline our methodology, which we label autoethnographic counternarrative, and present our findings/analysis, focusing on the following thematic elements: 1) Just being a teacher and 2) Psychology of novice teachers. To conclude, we discuss various implications of this work for teacher education, as well as the teaching profession at large, paying particular attention to the ways in which neoliberal education reforms, including TFA, effectively incentivize the individualization of teaching (and learning).
Historically “Red States” in the United States offer an example of the complex intersections of public education, race, conservative politics, language, and power/resistance which teachers live and work amongst. This article considers these intersections by focusing on the experiences and reflections of a former red state teacher and organizer. Following this, the article situates these reflections within border thinking and borderlands work, attempting to theorize the work of red state teachers. In doing so, the theoretical framework of Border Thinking Reflexivity is offered as a potential way of approaching such experiences and developing deeper understandings of the work of teaching in historically red states.