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New Words, Old Injustices: Vocabularies of Equity in Teacher Education Policy and Praxis

Mon, April 8, 4:10 to 5:40pm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 800 Level, Hall F


This paper explores the relationship between two state standards board “equity initiatives” and their on-the-ground enactment through our own university’s teacher education programs. We utilize a poststructuralist framework and employ discourse analysis to reveal the ideologies that undergird the standards board’s policy mandates, and we consider the consequences of those ideologies for our own work, discourses, and commitments as teacher educators. We focus on three phrases on which the equity initiatives rely: “grow your own,” “diversify the educator workforce,” and “community engagement.” Our analysis reveals the ways that language often provides refreshed labels to familiar and entrenched injustices—the ways that vocabularies of social justice or innovation are so often assimilated into ideologies and discourses that protect and perpetuate inequity.