CFP: Inside Stories: Teach For America Corps Members Speak Up and Speak Out

Inside Stories: Teach For America Corps Members Speak Up and Speak Out

Founded in 1989, Teach For America (TFA) has grown into a massive organization with a presence in thirty states and twenty-six countries, financially supported by a host of philanthropic foundations and other organizations with considerable influence. Additionally, TFA constitutes an integral part of the larger neoliberal goal of privatizing education and teacher training. Though a number of narratives from corps members exist, the vast majority of them are controlled or suppressed by TFA. Moreover, as the organization uses supportive narratives to further its rhetoric of educational reform, the large body of corps member and alumni voices that desire to express discontent, discouragement, frustration, and even anger associated with their experiences with TFA has, until now, been largely silenced. Following the lead of a critique of TFA by academics over the last few years, slowly TFA corps members and alumni have offered narratives to challenge the official rhetoric of TFA and the supposed “prestigious” position of being a TFA teacher.

In an effort to highlight and continue this counter-narrative, this volume will provide a collection of stories from current and former TFA corps members. We would also consider narratives of parents of TFA corps members. While the most effective tool of promoting TFA as a righteous and prestigious organization are the narratives from supportive corps members who tend to parrot approved talking points, this volume will provide a necessary counter-narrative that should be heard.

Proposals could highlight overall experiences, specific experiences with recruitment/application into TFA, summer Institute experiences,placement experiences, leaving TFA, etc. The finished narratives
should be between 5 and 10 double-spaced pages in APA format. Alternative formats such as poetry or other arts-based representations are also welcome.

Given the broad audience interested in TFA, we anticipate the audience to include researchers, school board members, principals, parents, and teachers and pre-service teachers.

1) Proposals due by May 17, 2014. Include the following to Jameson Brewer at

  • a) Proposed title of chapter
  • b) Author(s) name, with complete addresses and 150-word biography for each author
  • c) 500-word abstract of proposed chapter

2) Confirmation of selected chapters by June 17, 2014;
3) Contributors will have their first drafts completed by July 17, 2014.
4) The editors will review these first drafts, and provide detailed comments and suggestions by September 17, 2014.
5) The contributors will make all of the necessary edits, and send the final chapters to the editors by October 17, 2014.
6) The editors will draft a comprehensive introductory chapter and have the foreword written by a well-known scholar in the field, which will be ready along with the index and other editorial issues by November 17, 2014.
7) Once the publisher’s Editor has approved the text, the finalized,formatted volume will be submitted to the publisher shortly after November 17, 2014 which should allow for copy-editing and other related matters to be completed for a publishing date sometime mid 2015.

For questions or queries, contact Jameson Brewer at and/or Kathleen deMarrais at

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