Dividing Practices: Preservice Teacher Quality Assessment and the Reproduction of Relations between General and Special EducationReport as inadecuate

Dividing Practices: Preservice Teacher Quality Assessment and the Reproduction of Relations between General and Special Education - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Teacher Education Quarterly, v43 n3 p3-23 Sum 2016

Promoting the education of children with disabilities in general education classrooms has been a clear and consistent goal of federal education policy since the enactment of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) over forty years ago. However, among the many challenges to achieving this goal, one of the most persistent has been the ambiguous, uneasy, and oftentimes conflictual quality of working relationships between special and general educators. One way to interpret the ongoing tensions between the fields of general and special education is to understand them as manifestations of cultural conflict between different ways of knowing and doing things. Ironically, separate cultures of professional practice, each operating within the affordances and constraints of its own conceptual and material tools, also function as processes of induction into the profession, thus reproducing the tensions between professional cultures and communities of practice that have been so problematic in achieving the goals of IDEA. In this article, the authors draw on ideas from several streams of sociocultural learning theory to examine some of the concrete ways in which contemporary--and even "cutting-edge"--practical tools used to evaluate preservice teacher quality may unintentionally contribute to the reproduction of cultural tensions between general and special education. The underlying assumption is that policy, practice, and professional identity mutually construct one another--such that divisions in preparation for practice, whether explicitly or implicitly, become reified as essential and may then be enacted as conflict between members of the general and special education communities. It is important to note that these sociocultural dynamics can operate across licensure options, that is, whether students are seeking stand-alone licensure in general or special education or one of the varied types of dual-licensure options, for example, demonstrated how deeply the divisions between the fields remained entrenched, even in a credential program explicitly designed to integrate general and special education teacher preparation.

Descriptors: Disabilities, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Inclusion, Mainstreaming, Cultural Differences, Social Theories, Learning Theories, Preservice Teachers, Teacher Competencies, Evaluation Methods, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Professional Identity, Guides, Language Usage, Educational History, Equal Education, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, Teacher Education, Content Analysis, Literacy, Planning

Caddo Gap Press. 3145 Geary Boulevard PMB 275, San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel: 415-666-3012; Fax: 415-666-3552; e-mail: caddogap[at]aol.com; Web site: http://www.caddogap.com

Author: Pugach, Marleen C.; Peck, Charles

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=3047&id=EJ1110141

Related documents