Educating Preservice Teachers in a Neoliberal Era: Specialized Technicians or Public Intellectuals?

  • Bob Rigas Brock University
  • Renée Kuchapski Brock University
Keywords: Neoliberalism, teachers’ work, teacher education, public intellectual

Abstract

Neoliberalism’s influence on teacher education has intensified a view of teachers as skilled technicians trained to implement centrally developed curriculum rather than as public intellectuals who engage in self-reflection and critique. In this paper, reforms in the United States and England provide a context for discussing teacher education programs in Canada. Young and Boyd’s (2010) “modes of governance” and “images of teachers work” provide a way to conceptualize teachers as public intellectuals that may be useful to counter neoliberal conceptions. Since neoliberal reforms continue to influence both universities and K-12 education, teacher educators are uniquely challenged to maintain a critical perspective on the role of teacher education and teacher work.

L’influence du néolibéralisme sur la formation des enseignants a intensifié une perspective selon laquelle les enseignants sont des techniciens spécialisés et formés pour mettre en œuvre un programme d’études élaboré par des autorités centrales plutôt que des intellectuels publics qui pratiquent l’autoréflexion et l’autocritique. Cet article emploie des réformes aux États-Unis et en Angleterre comme cadre pour une discussion sur les programmes de formation des enseignants au Canada. Les « modes de gouvernance » et les « perceptions du travail des enseignants » de Young et Boyd (2010) offrent une façon de conceptualiser les enseignants comme des intellectuels publics. Ce moyen pourrait s’avérer utile pour contrer les perceptions néolibérales. Puisque l’influence des réformes néolibérales continue à se faire sentir dans le milieu universitaire et dans celui de l’éducation K-12, les formateurs d’enseignants sont confrontés au défi particulier de maintenir une perspective critique sur le rôle de la formation et du travail des enseignants.

Mots clés : néolibéralisme, travail des enseignants, formation des enseignants, intellectuel public

Author Biographies

Bob Rigas, Brock University
Bob Rigas is a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Studies with a focus on Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. He has received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History and English literature, a Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Arts in History from Queen’s University at Kingston, and a Master of Education from Brock University.  Rigas’s research interests include accountability, K-12 educational reform, higher education and teacher education policy, and the historical contexts of education policy. Rigas is also a certified Ontario teacher and has taught secondary school English and History in the Ontario public school system for over thirteen years. He also has post-secondary teaching experience as an instructor at Brock University’s Faculty of Education.
Renée Kuchapski, Brock University
Renée Kuchapski is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, Ontario, Canada. She teaches graduate courses in the Administration and Leadership field of specialization. Her research interests inclulde educational policy, neoliberalism and its influence on education, accountability, and life history research. Her professional career included time as a high school teacher, school principal, program coordinator, and a school board consultant.
Published
2019-03-07