Blaming Teachers: Professionalization Policies and the Failure of Education Reform in the United States
April 29, 2021
Historically, Americans have concurred that teachers were essential to the success of the public schools and nation. However, they have also concurred that public school teachers were to blame for the failures of the schools and identified professionalization as a panacea.
In Blaming Teachers, Diana D’Amico Pawlewicz reveals that historical professionalization reforms subverted public school teachers’ professional legitimacy. Superficially, professionalism connotes authority, expertise, and status. Professionalization for teachers never unfolded this way, though; rather, it was a policy process fueled by blame where others identified teachers’ shortcomings.
D’Amico Pawlewicz will connect this history to today’s politics of education, where teachers are often ignored on key issues, from curricular decisions to pandemic reopening plans. A question and answer session will follow.