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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

The Pedagogical Directive of the Common Core: Stop Making Sense / Nothing is Better Than This

The ever-evolving set of standards in the compulsory education system puts forth a difficult reality for teachers. While the implementation of standards provides badly needed checks for efficacy and accountability, these standards also serve to drastically narrow the scope of what it can mean to be an effective educator. Drawing from Eileen Honan’s work with State policy texts, this paper investigates the much-discussed Common Core State Standards and proposes a reading that figures teachers and students as actors in a broad ideological and political exchange. An exchange that in turn generates conditions that constrain and reduce teachers’ work to a series of localized, identifiable behaviors to be measured, analyzed, and ultimately, either lauded or dismissed. Further, in characterizing the current moment, Isabelle Stengers and Phillip Pignaire’s analysis of current discourses surrounding the mechanisms of global capitalism helps to contextualize how the very specific rhetoric of “College and Career Readiness” robs teachers of autonomy within their work and further, posits that there is simply no other conceivable alternative. Finally, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s co-authored work on rhizomatic thought, as well as Alfred North Whitehead’s volume on education, serve as essential tools in thinking beyond this specific set of static pedagogical expectations. In an attempt to, as Honan impels, “think differently,” this paper produces a reading of the Standards that allows workers in education to envision their own pedagogic reality and thus prolong the cry that Stengers and Pignaire so champion: another world is possible.

Presenter: Robert Ryan (Binghamton University) --
Topic: Education II- Panel
Location: 215 Hartwell
Time: 10:30 am (Session II)