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RE: [xmca] Mediation and a teacher's resignation


Message from another lurker...


A vey important issue here about policy and the coalface. Just a thouhgt though - your phrase "relationships at their lowest level" is what I like to call 'teaching/learning'... 



> From: gathomps@uchicago.edu
> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2009 16:53:02 -0500
> Subject: [xmca] Mediation and a teacher's resignation
> I'm currently putting together an AERA panel on the meaning of
> "context" and the mediating power of contexts and one of the
> panelists is doing a paper on how national public policies
> (esp. NCLB) mediate teacher-student relationships at the very
> local level.
> In light of this, I was wondering about the question of
> "mediation" that is raised by Kim's earlier post with the
> letter about the teacher's resignation -- in particular, in
> what ways was (in this case) the teacher's relationship to her
> students mediated by NCLB policies. (and this makes me wonder
> whether it would be enough to use the weaker term "affected"
> as opposed to the stronger term "mediated" - for those
> mediationalists on the listserve, how can we disambiguate
> these terms: "mediate" vs. "affect"?). 
> In looking through the letter, I was able to point to only a
> few places that made the strong argument for how NCLB was
> mediating (or even "affecting") the teacher's relationship
> with her students. One was where the teacher notes that her
> class didn't work because it was not "in compliance" with the
> scheduling. Another was that they could no longer enforce a
> "no tolerance" policy (I'm not familiar enough with NCLB to
> know if this was part it, although it is clearly implied). 
> So I'm curious if there were other ways in which this
> teacher's relationships with students (and with her principal
> and/or other teachers) would have been mediated by NCLB? A big
> part of my question stems from my own ignorance of NCLB and
> the implementation of it - a knowledge which the teacher seems
> to assume her audience has (and one would hope that Arne and
> others at his office had this knowledge). Nonetheless, it
> seems important to consider how these high level public
> policies mediate (affect? constrain/enable?) relationships at
> the lowest levels.
> As a first time XMCA poster, I'm curious to hear your ideas. I
> should note that I'm not a policy thinker, I do close-in
> analyses of learning interactions, but it is hard to ignore
> how the outsides are also inside of these interactions (an
> antinomy that is resolved by an understanding of the mediating
> power of social contexts?). 
> -greg
> ---------------------------------------
> Greg Thompson
> Ph.D. Candidate
> The Department of Comparative Human Development
> The University of Chicago
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