Conservative modernization is the result of a tense and sometimes contradictory blend of four kinds of reforms in teacher education and in educational policy and practice in general — neoliberal market-based reforms, neo-conservative reforms involving strong central cultural authority, authoritarian populist religious conservative proposals to bring schools and universities more in line with “God’s word,” and new middle-class emphases on technical and managerial solutions to moral and political problems. In this article, we want to turn to the other side. We examine the possibility, and reality, of counter-hegemonic policies and practices. These policies and practices call forth a very different vision of the place of the school in society and of curricula, teaching, and evaluation. They also present a serious challenge to teacher education, since they require the education of a “new” kind of teacher, someone who is deeply committed to a process of social transformation and to working cooperatively with oppressed groups in ways that develop very different skills than the ones now advocated in the reform proposals of conservative modernization. Yet, these counter-hegemonic policies and practices go further. They also challenge progressive teacher educators to “put their money where their mouth is” so to speak, in ways that extend proposals for socially reflective teacher education even further than before.
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