Incubating and Sustaining: How Teacher Networks Enable and Support Social Justice Education
Elementary and Early Childhood Education
In spite of the U.S. corporatized education “reform” movement where the curriculum has been narrowed and teachers are pressured to teach to the test, many educators enact critical pedagogical practices that seek to make school a place that is equitable, democratic, collaborative, just, and humane. Using data from an in-depth qualitative interview study with eight critical P-12 U.S. teachers, the author found that teacher networks play important roles in helping people decide to become critical educators who teach for social justice and in sustaining their critical teaching once they are in the classroom. This article argues that it is imperative for teacher educators to use social justice networks to recruit prospective teachers and to help existing teacher candidates form and connect with networks. These practices may bring new teachers committed to social justice into the field of education and sustain the work of those already teaching for justice.