Critical Reflection and the Foreign Language Classroom

Critical Reflection and the Foreign Language Classroom

Critical Reflection and the Foreign Language Classroom

Critical Reflection and the Foreign Language Classroom

Synopsis

Challenges pre-service and in-service teachers to think about foreign language education and its societal context in terms of power and equality. Helps teachers develop skills in analysis and proposes possibilities for instructional reform.

Excerpt

Educational reform has fallen upon hard times. The traditional assumption that schooling is fundamentally tied to the imperatives of citizenship designed to educate students to exercise civic leadership and public service has been eroded. The schools are now the key institution for producing professional, technically trained, credentialized. workers for whom the demands of citizenship are subordinated by the vicissitudes of the marketplace and the commercial public sphere. Given the current corporate and right wing assault on public and higher education, coupled with the emergence of a moral and political climate that has shifted to a new Social Darwinism, the issues which framed the democratic meaning, purpose, and use to which education might aspire have been displaced by more vocational and narrowly ideological considerations.

The war waged against the possibilities of an education wedded to the precepts of a real democracy is not merely ideological. Against the backdrop of reduced funding for public schooling, the call for privatization, vouchers, cultural uniformity, and choice, there are the often ignored larger social realities of material power and oppression. On the national level, there has been a vast resurgence of racism. This is evident in the passing of anti-immigration laws such as Proposition 187 in Cali fornia . . .

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