With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Diana D'Amico Pawlewicz – Blaming Teachers: Professionalization Policies and the Failure of Reform in American History 6:00 PM Monday, August 31

In Blaming Teachers, Diana D'Amico Pawlewicz reveals that historical professionalization reforms subverted public school teachers' professional legitimacy. Superficially, professionalism connotes authority, expertise, and status. Professionalization for teachers never unfolded this way; rather, it was a policy process fueled by blame where others identified teachers' shortcomings. Policymakers, school leaders, and others understood professionalization measures for teachers as efficient ways to bolster the growing bureaucratic order of the public schools through regulation and standardization. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century with the rise of municipal public school systems and reaching into the 1980s, Blaming Teachers traces the history of professionalization policies and the discourses of blame that sustained them.

Diana D'Amico Pawlewicz is a historian of education reform and social policy and an assistant professor in Educational Foundations and Research at the University of North Dakota supported by the Elnora Hopper Danley Professorship

Randi Weingarten is an American labor leader, attorney, and educator. She is president of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the AFL–CIO and the former president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Read entire article at Politics and Prose Bookstore