University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > FERSA Lunchtime Sessions > Ignoring poverty: critical perspectives on Teach For America and US education reform

Ignoring poverty: critical perspectives on Teach For America and US education reform

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Founded in 1990, Teach For America (TFA) is a national non-profit which enlists high-performing college graduates and professionals to teach for two years in America’s most disadvantaged schools. My research examines the TFA teacher experience through the sociological lens of individualization and second-wave modernity (drawing on Beck, Beck-Gernsheim, Giddens and Bauman). Specifically, I am exploring the way in which the TFA mission of closing class- and race-based achievement gaps combines with individualization in society to promote notions of meritocracy; to create internal conflict for young teachers forced to navigate between altruism and egoism; and, to encourage the adoption of a specific set of neoliberal education reform policies among TFA alumni. This is of particular importance given TFA ’s remarkable domestic growth over the last several years and its replication as a model for fast-track-to-teaching enterprises abroad.

This talk is part of the FERSA Lunchtime Sessions series.

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