Teacher Education and Teaching as Struggling for the Soul: A Critical Ethnography
Challenging conventional ways of thinking about school reforms and teacher education, this book analyses how the knowledge systems which organize how teachers' observe, supervise, and evaluate children produces norms that have the effect of excluding children who are poor and of color. Building on Struggling for the Soul (1998), his original study of the day-to-day life of new teachers in the Teach for America program, Popkewitz delves deeper into how the teaching and learning practices of urban and rural schools. Applying an ethnographic focus to how difference and divisions are produced to exclude despite efforts to include, he explores the complexities of educational change and raises important questions about the politics of schooling, knowledge and power. This book provides an original way of thinking about ethnography through a critical post-foundational approach. Conceptually focusing the ethnography of the system of reason that organizes teacher practices, the analysis offers a critical lens to understand the contemporary politics of school reform, the limits of teacher research, and suggests why current teacher and teacher education reforms may conserve the very conditions required for change. Beyond its relevance to U.S. schools, the conceptual and methodological resources of the book have relevance internationally, especially given the global important of education responding to cultural and social diversity through teacher and teacher education reforms.