1st Edition

Democracy and Teacher Education Dilemmas, Challenges and Possibilities

    198 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book connects the dilemmas educators experience in daily practice with key theories, research and policy about democracy, ethics and equity in education. Illustrated through vignettes from practising teachers, as well as suggested questions and supplementary readings for each chapter, the authors recognise and explore the complex nature of the insoluble problems that face practising teachers in their everyday lives and how they can be understood in order to address them in a more elaborate manner.

    Divided into eight concise chapters, this book provides a much-needed comprehensive exploration of issues within the education discourse, as seen from a global perspective, such as:

    • Teachers’ understanding of their profession
    • Political demands and the complexities of practice
    • Schools’ democratic values
    • Performance and accountability
    • Minority needs and majority rule
    • Countering radicalisation, terrorism and misinformation.

    Democracy and Teacher Education is a fantastic resource for students in teacher education programmes, as well as teacher educators, who are looking to develop a critical understanding of the choices made within the education field in a more thoughtful and sensitive manner.



    Chapter 1: Democracy and Teacher Education: Dilemmas, Challenges and Possibilities: an Introduction

    Chapter 2: Historical Background

    Chapter 3: The Policy Cycle

    Chapter 4: Teacher Professionalism and Democracy

    Chapter 5: Knowledge and Democracy

    Chapter 6: Darwinian Strength

    Chapter 7: Teacher Reflexivity

    Chapter 8: Teachers’ Democratic Assignment



    Silvia Edling is a Professor and excellent teacher at the Academy of Education and Business Studies at University of Gävle, Sweden, and specializes in questions concerning democracy, teacher professionalism, ethics, justice and rights in education and higher education.

    Geraldine Mooney Simmie is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the School of Education, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Republic of Ireland, where she lectures in Policy Studies. Her research interest is in emancipatory teaching and research, teacher professional learning, ethics, social justice and how education intersects with democracy.

    "This book makes the case for democracy as a central concern for education and for teachers - not as an add-on but as a necessary and immediate focus of educational practices and for what it means to be educated. It is a book for teacher educators and student teachers, as public intellectuals, that is intellectually rigorous and eminently practical. This is an exciting and challenging book that works on a number of levels to offer practical support to teacher educators who take democracy seriously as a topic and goal for educational work in schools. It makes a convincing case for the urgent necessity of a rethink of what schools are for and what it means to be educated."

    Stephen J. Ball, University College London

    "Keeping alive the idea and reality of teacher education within and for democratic renewal is vital. Edling and Mooney Simmie succeed in doing just that because they focus on issues that prompt the question: how do we do teaching and learning together? Addressing this requires all the resources provided in this book: history, values, knowledge and expertise. The key message is that teachers should be educated and not just trained to deliver data. The authors demonstrate that while professional practice takes place in a dynamic and an often threatening policy context, the unifying constants are values and the importance of valuing the educability of all children."

    Helen Gunter, University of Manchester

    "This is a fascinating and exciting book. It is theoretically rich and practically engaged, accessible and challenging at the same time. It is a welcome and timely reminder of why public education matters and why critical educational thinking and praxis is vital for democratic societies. Both uplifting and engaging, I strongly recommend it to teachers and teacher educators."

    Kathleen Lynch, University College Dublin

    "At this historical juncture known as the Capitalocene, when education is under attack by the irrepressible forces of neoliberal capitalist retrenchment, this book offers a lifeline to those educators who are drowning in despair, who are too strong to yield but too weak to overcome the barriers erected to prevent democracy from functioning as it should. The authors are skilled social justice educators who, by virtue of their visionary approach to education and democracy, have created a powerful ecology of pedagogical possibilities, that is able to do more than to undermine the rationalism, fatalism and toxic nationalism that has gripped our age but to establish a new practice of teacher transformation and a politics of hope for a future where democracy is able to live up to its name."

    Peter McLaren, Chapman University, California