Critical Perspectives on Teacher Education by Lars Dahlstrom and Brook Lemma

This article combines analysis from teacher education in Ethiopia and Namibia with recent examples of neo-liberal influences on national education sectors. The article describes the national teacher education reforms and analyses the forces and damages of the ‘liberal virus’ by looking at the plasma teacher phenomenon in Ethiopia and the travel and traverse of critical practitioner inquiry in Namibia. Our findings show how neo-liberalism when entering the education arena reduces teachers to technical caretakers and transforms what was once introduced as progressive and critical practices of education into separated entities following technical rationalities. Teacher education is also silently transformed to develop students and teachers alike into consumers in the educational marketplace through the neo-liberal governmentality that turns people into tightly controlled individuals who persist in claiming to be free in a globalised world. This article does not only bring out the damages inflicted by the liberal virus but also makes its exit by recommending the practice of contextualized critical thinking at all levels of education as proposed in Critical Practitioner Inquiry practices.

Critical Perspectives on Teacher Education

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