Alternative teacher certification has been in the midst of heated debates in the U.S. since the 1980s. At the core of this debate are opposing views and contradicting interests of teacher unions, teacher educators, states, districts, and the federal government concerning the preferred nature of teacher knowledge, and professionalism and structural tensions about who should control and regulate the teaching profession. Employing Bourdieu's notions of social field and capital, this volume tracks the first political struggle over alternative teacher certification in the U.S., and argues that during the 1980s, New Jersey became one of the first states to implement successfully education policy initiatives that were guided by neo-liberal and neo-conservative notions. The book analyzes primary documents from New Jersey State Archives, mass media articles, and interviews, to illustrates how this struggle over alternative teacher certification evolved over time and which lessons, both practical and theoretical, could be drawn from it to inform our understanding of teacher education policy.
About the Author
Eran Tamir is a senior research associate at the Mandel Center at Brandeis University. A sociologist and an educational policy analyst, his research focuses on the social context of educational policy, teacher certification policy, teacher careers, teacher professionalism in religious and urban public schools, and the politics of education reform.
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