Certifiably Qualified: Corps, College, and the Construction of the Teacher

  • David W. Kupferman
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 5)


In this chapter I examine the historical and contemporary constructions of “the teacher” in Micronesia, applying Lyotard’s notion of the différend to analyze the various ways in which local conceptions of teachers and teaching are foreclosed upon, and ultimately wronged (in Lyotard’s terms), by the legitimation of a class of largely expatriate American volunteers. I trace the current phenomenon of 20-something US college graduates constructed as “real” teachers back to the advent of the Peace Corps in the islands beginning in 1966, which coincided with the establishment of a number of teacher training colleges starting in 1963 (part of the Solomon “event”) as well as the introduction of American accreditation to those institutions. Finally, I consider the effects of this process of legitimation by exploring circulations of power through the disciplining of western knowledges as required in present-day teacher education programs through the region, as well as the recent push to credential and license Islander teachers in the image of their foreign models, resulting in the sublimation of local definitions of teaching, teachers, and what constitutes “real” knowledge in an island context.


Teacher Education Language Policy Discursive Practice Original Emphasis Marshall Island 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Kupferman
    • 1
  1. 1.Education DepartmentCollege of the Marshall IslandsMajuroRepublic of the Marshall Islands

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