New issue of Critical Education: Accreditation and the struggle for critical teacher education

Critical Education 4(3), March 15, 2013

The Struggle for Critical Teacher Education: How Accreditation Practices Privilege Efficiency Over Criticality and Compliance over Negotiation
By: Jean Ann Foley

Abstract: In this article, the author uses a case study approach to explore and analyze a conflict within the Professional Education Unit (PEU) at her university. While the controversy seemed to focus on differing epistemologies concerning critical and traditional pedagogy for teacher preparation, the intensity of the clash suggested there were additional forces at work. The author argues that in this particular case, the undertow of a technical rational perspective, generated by an educational accrediting agency, privileged efficiency over criticality and compliance over negotiation. In addition, she suggests that the power structures embedded in the processes of accreditation interfered with unity supported by a common conceptual framework. The article concludes with recommendations on how an institution might use the educational ideals within their conceptual framework, required for accreditation, to liberate its authors from constrained communication that is bounded by a technical discourse.