Teacher Preparation as Interruption or Disruption? Understanding Identity (Re)Constitution for Critical Inclusion

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Teaching & Teacher Education

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Dominant ideologies pervade school contexts and shape the ways in which normalcy and difference are constructed within education systems (Leonardo & Broderick, 2011). Students with social identities positioned as different from the referent norm (e.g., disabled, non-white, non-binary, etc.) experience various interconnected forms of systemic oppression that relegate them to the physical and social margins of schools. Scholars in teacher education suggest that teacher preparation programs should weave together critical approaches to inclusive education to support teacher candidate understandings of dominant ideologies and their own identities mediate their interactions with students and colleagues (e.g., Ashby, 2012; Bialka, 2015; Causton-Theoharis, Theoharis, & Trezek, 2008; Connor & Bejoian, 2014; Dotger & Ashby, 2010; Oyler, 2011). However, this work proves difficult because it requires challenging deeply embedded habits of mind and embrace new ways of viewing the world (Bourdieu, 1987; Luke, 2010). Moreover, new teachers face resistance to inclusion as they enter practice contexts where exclusion and segregation are the norm (Artiles & Kozleski, 2007). This paper explores how four graduates drew on their preparation experiences and personal histories to engage in identity development as they navigated the tensions between the inclusive messages of their program and their practice contexts.


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