TC's Lesley Bartlett is honored by the Comparative and International Education Society
Published in News You Can Use - July 2013
An article co-authored by Lesley Bartlett, Associate Professor of Education, has received honorable mention in the competition for the 2012 George Bereday Award, which recognizes the best article published in the journal Comparative Education Review (CER).
Bartlett co-authored the article with Fran Vavrus, a former TC faculty member now at the University of Minnesota, who serves as project coordinator for Teaching in Action, a collaboration with faculty from Tanzania’s Mwenge University College of Education to expand content-area reading and writing in secondary schools in the nation’s Kilimanjaro region.
Titled “Comparative Pedagogies and Epistemological Diversity: Social and Material Contexts of Teaching in Tanzania,” the article examines how epistemological differences regarding knowledge production and material differences in the conditions of teaching inﬂuence teachers’ and teacher educators’ understandings of learner-centered pedagogy.
The article, published in the November 12, 2012 issue of CER, grew out of the five-year TIA project. It focuses on six Tanzanian secondary schools whose teachers participated in a workshop on learner centered pedagogy and pedagogical content knowledge.
The authors note “profound global inequities in the distribution of pedagogical content knowledge, which are due in part to teachers differing opportunities for pre-serve and in-service professional development and their unequal access to textbooks, journals and the internet.”
“Not only are teachers working conditions important contextual factors in comparative studies of schooling, but the conditions themselves need to be conceptualized more fully in theories of knowledge production and global/local reforms of teacher education,” they write.
Noting the contradiction inherent in “the engagement of non-Tanzanians in a process aimed at making learner centered pedagogy locally relevant,” Vavrus and Bartlett urge a shift in which international programs like TIA are viewed as “opportunities to weave together methods of engaging students in learning adapted to local cultural and material contexts.”
In a letter to Bartlett and Vavrus, Hilary Landorf, Chair of the Awards Committee the Comparative and International Education Society, wrote that the article “sets a new threshold for what research in our field could and should look like if we are to correct the one-sidedness of knowledge production, and move toward a more equitable and just world through our scholarly engagement.”