This book calls for a new type of teacher education that empowers teachers to be self-directed professionals. Joe Kincheloe believes that the current trend of teaching teachers to learn an empirical knowledge base which they then implement in their classrooms is demeaning to teachers and teaches them not to think. He cites, for example, the emphasis on lesson plan format, the writing of behavioral objectives, and pre-packaged activities. One way to achieve thoughtful empowerment is through critical action research, or teaching practitioner thinking. The author illustrates the roots of his theory in Deweyan learning through action and in the more modern active learning approach. He then applies Piagetian constructivism and critical hermeneutics to develop a post-formal model of practitioner thought, which he labels critical constructivism. Kincheloe theorizes on the ways such a model would impact teaching and learning in a college of education.Autonomous, self-reflective, critical thinking teachers who take their profession seriously must understand the political consequences of this approach, states the author, as it will change the face of the school and elicit a backlash of opposition. While the book develops a unique vision of practitioner thinking, it is also firmly grounded in the realities of school life and is written in an accessible style that is not geared to one specific group.
Toward a Critical Politics of Teacher Thinking