With this paper, we explore two approaches to teacher education, paying attention to how teachers are prepared to work in diverse school settings in a time of increasingly competitive neoliberal, market-based reform. These two approaches reflect completion of a traditional teacher education program and completion of Teach for America (TFA). The findings are based on two independent interview studies that are informed by the researchers’ joint commitments to postcritical ethnography, which consider issues associated with positionality, reflexivity, objectivity, and representation. The first interview study engaged teachers who graduated from a traditional teacher education program, as well as two participants with a more specialized urban focus. Interview questions asked teachers to describe their implementation of culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms and how prepared they were to do so. The second study addressed the experiences of TFA alumni as they matriculated through the program, with special emphasis being paid to the support that each corps member received during and immediately following their tenure.


Teacher Education, Teach for America, Educational Policy, Postcritical Ethnography

Author Bio(s)

Ashlee Anderson is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies in Education (CSE) at the University of Tennessee. She earned a PhD in Education with a primary specialization in CSE and a secondary specialization in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Tennessee, where she now teaches graduate courses in the CSE doctoral concentration and master’s degree program, as well as CSE undergraduate courses in international education. Her primary research interests include foundations of education/sociology of education, teacher education/teacher development, qualitative research methodologies, education policy and reform, international education, equity and social justice, and cultural studies in education. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: abanders@utk.edu.

Brittany Aronson is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Miami University and teaching classes in sociocultural foundations and multicultural education. In her scholarship, she focuses on preparing educators to work against oppression as well as critical policy analyses of both popular and political discourse. Her research interests include critical teacher preparation, social justice education, critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, and educational policy. Dr. Aronson earned a PhD in Learning Environments and Educational Studies from the University of Tennessee in 2014. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: aronsoba@miamioh.edu.

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