Preparing Teachers as Informed Professionals: Working with a Critical Ethnographic Disposition and a Socially Democratic Imaginary

  • Lawrence Angus
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 22)


The argument of this chapter is that the current neoliberal framing of education policy promotes teaching and learning as technical, managed processes that occur within the black box of the school in a functionalist, transmission model of education. Teacher educators and student teachers, as well as teachers, pupils and schools, have been caught up in the process of reducing students to sets of hollow numbers through a management paradigm of accountability and measurement. This situation is eroding the status and autonomy of the education profession. If education is to be socially responsible and equitable, the argument continues, it must be inclusive of the lives and cultures of the most disadvantaged students and their communities. Student teachers need to understand, therefore, that teaching is a political act and that one way of becoming an informed professional is through the processes of critical enquiry and critical pedagogy that takes account of the knowledge, norms, cultures, assets and resources that young people bring with them to school. The remainder of the chapter develops the radical potential of the concept of ‘funds of knowledge’ for informing pre-service teacher education and developing an ethnographic understanding of what is valued in homes and communities compared with what is typically valued (implicitly and explicitly) in schools. Through critical reflection and enquiry, the chapter concludes, student teachers can examine structural arrangements that position certain students and their communities ‘other’ and begin to formulate emancipatory social and educational practices that keep alive a pedagogy of hope and a politics of social justice.


Teacher Education Student Teacher Prospective Teacher Future Teacher Professional Autonomy 
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 Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and ArtsUniversity of BallaratMt HelenAustralia

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