Standards Talk: Considering Discourse in Teacher Education Standards
My interest in understanding the discursive meanings of national standards in teacher education comes from my early experiences as a high school English teacher and member of our school district’s K–12 English/Language Arts standards committee in the early 1990s. Standards-based teaching, at the time, involved collaboration with other teachers on the committee, as we negotiated agreement about what our students should know, and what we would consequently teach. Teachers’ voices were integral to the process, and we used our knowledge of our students and the local community’s resources to consider appropriate grade-level standards for our students. The process was not perfect: as Bourdieu (1974) suggests, teachers often act as if the language of standards is natural, “full of allusions and shared understandings,” and assume that “academic judgments which in fact perpetuate cultural privilege” are “fair” (pp. 39–40). To us, standards-setting seemed a professional, rational exercise concluding in consensus, and we never asked whose standards we were promoting. It seemed we were promoting our own.
- Bourdieu, P. (1974). The school as a conservative force: Scholastic and cultural inequalities. In J.Eggleston (Ed.), Contemporary research in the sociology of education (pp. 32–46). Cambridge: Methuen.Google Scholar
- Cornbleth, C. & Waugh, D. (1995). The great speckled bird: Multicultural policies and education policymaking. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Darling-Hammond, L., & Sclan, E. M. (1996). Who teaches and why: Dilemmas of building a profession for twenty-first century schools. In J. Sikula, T. J. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (2nd ed.) (pp. 67–101). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1972). The archaeology of knowledge & the discourse on language. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
- Groden, M., Kreiswirth, M. & Szeman, I. (Eds.) (1994). Discourse. The Johns Hopkins guide to literary theory & criticism. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Hobbel, N. (2001). Access, equity, and performance-based assessment: Reviewing the NBPTS. Paper presented at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX.Google Scholar
- Ladson-Billings, G. (2000). Racialized discourses and ethnic epistemologies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.) (pp. 257–277). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- McSorley, K. (2000). Moving from oppression to democracy: Reframing the preparation of special education teachers. Educators for Urban Minorities, 1(2), 27–38.Google Scholar
- Metz, M. H. (1990). How social class differences shape teachers’ work. In M. McLaughlin, J. Talbert, & N. Bascia (Eds.), The contexts of teaching in secondary schools: Teachers’ realities (pp. 40–107). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). (2008). The Standards. http://www.nbpts.org/the_standards. Accessed 17 October 2008.
- National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, DC: National Commission on Excellence in Education.Google Scholar
- National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). (2001–2008). NCATE 2008 Unit Standards. http://www.ncate.org.Accessed 22 September 2008.
- Nóvoa, A. (2000). The teaching profession in Europe: Historical and sociological analysis. In E. S. Swing, J. Schriewer, & F. Orivel (Eds.), Problems and prospects in European education. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Popkewitz, T. S. (2000). Globalization/regionalization, knowledge, and the educational practices: Some notes on comparative strategies for educational research. In T. S. Popkewitz (Ed.), Educational knowledge: Changing relationships between the state, civil society, and the educational community (pp. 3–27). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
- Portelli, J., & Vibert, A. (1997). Dare we criticize common educational standards? McGill Journal of Education, 32, 69–79.Google Scholar
- Shannon, P. (1995). Can reading standards really help? The Clearing House, 68(4), 229–232.Google Scholar
- Teacher Education Accreditation Council. (2003-2008). Brief overview of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. http://www.teac.org. Accessed 6 August 2008.
- Weiner, L. (2000). Research in the 90s: Implications for urban teacher preparation. Review of Educational Research, 70(3), 369–406.Google Scholar
- Whitty, G., Power, S., & Halpin, D. (1998). Devolution & choice in education: The school, the state, and the market. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.Google Scholar