1st Edition

Teacher Education and Its Discontents Politics, Knowledge, and Ethics

    248 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This unique collection of essays from researchers and teacher educators from around the world presents innovative approaches to education theory, critical policy analyses, de-colonializing reformulations of teacher education, and a “standard of dissensus” for teacher education.

    This first volume from the International Teacher Education Research Collective (ITERC), illustrates common themes and problems in politics of education, in particular, standardization, marketization, governance of and policy in education with both country specific cases and generally formulated theoretical discussions. The book has three primary aims: to illustrate and critique the ethical, epistemological, and political discourses shaping teacher education; to identify and unravel the entanglements of politics, knowledge, and ethics in teacher education in a range of international settings; and, to revitalize teacher education by proposing and exploring alternative modes of thought and practice. The volume contributes to further reflection and in-depth discussion in education, to the formulation of new areas for educational research, and for critical resistance to hegemonic discourses of education.

    Making an important contribution to contemporary education discourse, this book is a useful guide for education researchers and theorists, teacher educators and postgraduate and higher degree research students in education.


    Table of contents


    Series Editor’s Introduction

    More about the Editors

    List of Contributors


    Teacher Education and its Discontents: An Introduction

    Anne Phelan, Gunnlaugur Magnússon; Stephen Heimans & Ruth Unsworth.

    Failure is not an option: A topology of education’s impossibility

    F. Tony Carusi.


    "Who killed teacher education?" Historicizing Current Debates on Teaching and Teaching Methods in Sweden

    Tatiana Mikaylova, Daniel Pettersson & Gunnlaugur Magnússon


    Resisting positive universal views of the OECD politics of teacher education: From the perspective of ‘negative’ universality 

    Dion Rüsselbæk Hansen, Deborah Heck, Elaine Sharpling & Paul McFlynn.


    “An Ethic of Innocence”: The Fragile Contours of Teacher Education in Canada

    Anne M. Phelan


    Teacher education, agency and knowledge: Conditions of epistemic (in)justice in teacher education

    Matthew Clarke & Ruth Unsworth


    Yorubá and Mātauranga Māori epistemologies in practice: decolonising teacher education in Brazilian and Aotearoa New Zealand universities.

    Genaro Oliveira & Cândida Moraes


    The Educational Theory of Seikatsu Sidou: Inviting a Singular Sense of Responsibility

    Takenori Sagara


    Toward a New Standard of Dissensus: Notes on De-standardising Teacher Education

    Stephen Heimans, Dion Rüsselbæk Hansen & Matthew Clarke


    The Collective and the Contemporary - Reflections from ITERC
    Gunnlaugur Magnússon & the International Teacher Education Research Collective






    Gunnlaugur Magnússon is Associate Professor at Uppsala University and was at the time of writing Associate Professor II at University of Oslo. His research and publications have primarily revolved around inclusive education, marketization, educational professions, education politics and policy, teacher education, and the pedagogy of higher education.

    Anne M. Phelan is Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia and Honorary Professor at The Education University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on teachers’ intellectual and political freedom, and the creation of teacher education programs and policies that support that end.

    Stephen Heimans writes and teaches about education policy, leadership and enactment. He has expertise in education research methodology and schooling in underserved communities. He is interested in enacting radical equality as proposed by Jacques Rancière’s thinking and the philosophy of science of Isabelle Stengers- especially experimental constructivism.

    Ruth Unsworth is Senior Lecturer of Initial Teacher Education at York St John University. Her research interests and publications centre around actor-network theory, psychoanalytic theory and ethnographic explorations of the relationship between global education policy and teachers’ classroom practices. 

    Courageous in the face of coercive curriculum control, wilfully optimistic in the intellectual wasteland of standardised ITE content that requires new teachers to know what to teach and how to teach it but keeps them ignorant about why, and who decides this, this volume demonstrates the value and the importance of dissensus, and the need to take an agonistic stance towards the preparation of new teachers in neoliberal conditions around the world.

    For me, this book has clearly exposed the Catch 22 of teacher education practice.  In so doing it takes a stand against the global education reform movement that serves the interests of rapidly changing late neo-capitalism, a stand that is simultaneously ethical, intellectual and political, as the authors show how this paradoxically fails to educate for change. 

    It is a must read for all those who care about teachers and teacher education – particularly those who recognise that if teacher education succeeds in producing teachers fit for the purposes of GERM, then it fails to prepare them to educate. For a field caught up in the intellectual pessimism inherent in institutions that must increasingly provide ITE programs compliant with details of mandated core curriculum content, the authors clearly articulate the challenge. Without a preparation that equips new teachers with knowledge about what education is, and has been, and what schooling has done in different times and places, how can they think about what they are doing here and now? How can they question the decisions other people have made about what works for all teachers, when they need it to work for their own students?  How will they know what to try when it doesn't?

    This book channels the real moral and ethical concerns that many teacher educators share about where our field is heading, in a collection of compelling thought-pieces that can resource us richly with something approaching a new philosophy of teacher education.  It’s an invitation to teacher education to think theoretically about what it’s doing, and it helps us do so. 

    Jo-Anne Reid,
    Emeritus Professor,
    Charles Sturt University,


    This excellent and inspiring collection of essays shows that teacher education is far from limited by normative national frameworks. Instead, those frameworks tend to be the very reason for our discontent, driving the need to clarify the fundamental educational questions at the heart of teaching; how to take responsibility for the freedom of the other?  This book is an important, challenging and thoughtful contribution to the conversation.

    Professor, Dr. Carl Anders Säfström
    Director, Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy
    Maynooth University,