I am a Professor of Education at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Originally from the Carolinas, I taught pre-school, high school, and university in North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, New York, and Kentucky prior to joining the faculty at UBC.
I teach and write about the politics of curriculum, critical pedagogy, social studies education, and academic labor. I am interested in the influence of social, political, and institutional contexts on teachers’ practice. My research and teaching focus on the role of curriculum and teaching in building democratic communities that are positioned to challenge the priorities and interests of neoliberal capitalism as manifest in educational and social policies that shape both formal and informal education experiences.
In recent years, my principal research interests have been the influence of the educational standards and high-stakes testing movements on curriculum and teaching. Investigating the surveillance-based and spectacular conditions of postmodern schools and society my aim has been to develop a radical critique of schooling as social control and a collection of strategies that can be used disrupt and resist the conforming, anti-democratic, anti-collective, and oppressive potentialities of schooling, practices I describe as dangerous citizenship.
I am a secondary school English teacher who is concerned about the vast variation in grades between schools, distance learning and off shore B.C. accredited schools. Now that the English 12 provincial exam is beginning it’s final year teachers that I speak to are concerned that if they continue to use the existing writing standards they will be penalizing their students. They are concerned that their students’ grades will be lower than other schools. I have welcomed many students from DL or other schools who have entered my classroom with completely inflated grades. Last year, an international student came to me with a 78% in English 11 and received a provincial exam mark of less than 30%. She could not write a sentence without an error. Another English teacher and I would like to hear from universities as to how we can continue to uphold our written expectations without jeopardizing student entrance and scholarships. Can you give me any insight into this? Is this a topic at the university level?