It’s Heart Work: Critical Case Studies, Critical Professional Development, and Fostering Hope Among Social Justice–Oriented Teacher Educators

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Alison G Dover|Henning Nick|Agarwal-Rangnath Ruchi|Erica K. Dotson
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Journal Article, Academic Journal
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As social justice–oriented teachers and teacher educators, it can seem as if we are fighting a losing battle against neoliberal education policies designed to disrupt and dismantle our field. In this article we draw upon traditions of critical race theory, counterstorying, and critical hope to examine the complex realities of contemporary teacher education and envision an alternate reality in which our profession develops and thrives. To do so, we first present a series of autoethnographic critical case studies that highlight dilemmas of practice. We then invite readers to examine each case through multiple lenses, as they grapple with the complexities of a visionary path forward. In so doing, we offer tools for critical professional development that articulate, deconstruct, and reimagine social justice–oriented teacher education and activism in this changing landscape. We close with recommendations to increase our collective capacity as social justice teacher educators, placing a central emphasis on the need for community, critical professional development, and hope.
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