In a post titled Paying an Ideological Ransom for the Right to Teach John Leo advises ed schools are producing yet another hoop for prospective teachers to jump through.
Mr. Leo reports:
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) says ed schools and programs must require teachers in training to demonstrate the "dispositions necessary to help all students learn," such as a commitment to social justice. Everyone is for social justice, but it's odd that would-be teachers would have to convince their professors of such commitment before getting to teach. Since ed schools are essentially a liberal monoculture, conservative and moderate students concluded that their political opinions were being probed and that they were being asked to endorse the belief systems of their programs as the price of being allowed to teach. The Fordham Foundation posted an article by William Damon opposing the dispositions requirement, saying that his article gave credence to charges of ideological arm-twisting and Orwellian mind control.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education or FIRE complained to the Department of Education that there is no way an ed school can evaluate a student's commitment to social justice without evaluating that student's politics. NCATE countered by backing down.
Mr. Leo goes on to explore the meaning of words such as dispositions, cultural competence, and commitment to social justice and equity. He also quotes Phyllis Edmundson, dean of the graduate school of education at Portland State University and links to an article of hers in the New York Times.
Ms. Edmundson’s article categorizes educators into specific divisions regarding their “disposition”. You may think of your position as a win in life’s lottery and feel you are the beneficiary of a privilege; you may be all about perpetuating institutional racisim, an unconscious oppressor, or an imperfect exemplar of cultural responsiveness.
Mr. Leo contends the whole dispositions argument is just another attempt at ideology being imposed on teachers.
What do you think?
Mr. Leo’s entire article can be found here.
Remember that you can subscribe to this blog and receive my updated posts in your email box by submitting your email address in the Feed Blitz box at the top of this page or use the Bloglines button to the right. Thanks in advance for your comments or email