A #selfie meritocracy in educator professional development: Generating complacency through self-reflection

  • Teresa Anne Fowler Curriculum and Learning

Abstract

At the cornerstone of professional development for K-12 teachers, there is an emphasis on practices of self-reflection and reflective practice that turn the professional educator gaze inward towards the self. Self-reflection has emerged through the teacher-as-researcher and the teacher-as-reflective-practitioner identities in professional development. However, this looking inward avoids looking at the larger social structures and the ways in which knowledge of the self is built on social constructions of knowledge and a privileged identity that marginalizes and oppresses Others. I argue that this distraction on/from the self creates a meritocracy in professional development. A focus on the inward self allows perpetuations of systemic racism to remain entrenched and unchallenged in schooling, further pushing anti-racist work to the margins and the ideal of the inclusive classroom unobtainable. This paper explores how teacher professional development, with a focus on self-reflective practices, ignores social structures and systemic forms of racism in schooling.

Author Biography

Teresa Anne Fowler, Curriculum and Learning

Teresa Anne Fowler is a doctoral candidate at the Werklund School of

Education, University of Calgary. Her research with a male youth hockey team explores boys’ experiences in school and with the curriculum through a photovoice project. Teresa is interested in research in Masculinities, Whiteness, and Anti-Rasicm in Education. Currently teaching in the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Education at WSE, she also has recent experience in K-12 schools working in the area of mental health.

Published
2019-12-09
Section
Position Paper/Essai