Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Public Expression of Citizen Teachers

Grumet, Madeleine R.“The Public Expression of Citizen Teachers.” Journal of Teacher Education. 61 (2) 66-76.

Grumet argues that if classrooms are supposed to be places where democracy is developed, teachers must have more access to and participation in the debates surrounding curriculum development and school reform. She suggests that teachers play a subordinated role, and have historically played this role. She concludes with a series of implications for nationwide reform, such as increased pay, differentiated staff, increased numbers of teachers in the classroom, and a redefinition of “good teaching.”


This felt like an 11-page rant on the way one person wishes things were, and while based on a long personal history within education, the implications seem improbable at this time. Although it presents a pleasant look at the possible future of teacher education and school reform, it left me wondering, what do we do today? What is the next step? The author conducts no new research, but does present a strong synthesis of other academicians.


“The work of teaching is so patterned. It is, as Merleau-Ponty says, ‘within a world already spoke and speaking that we think.’Although it is always tempting to delve into these persistent traditions, semiotics, and relationships, in this essay I will merely try to identity how teacher education participates in sustaining them and how, perhaps, we might, very deliberately, move beyond them.”

“…teaching was not merely a delivery system for already established knowledge, but a form of inquiry as well, and that to teach was to create and extend knowledge.”

“Democracy is at stake every time we decide who speaks and who is silent in a classroom or a meeting or what interpretations of a text makes sense to us.”

“Instead of focusing on the teacher, we need to shape a curriculum that addresses these communities of teachers.”

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