Publication Date: June 10, 2011
This book examines both the promise and complexity of diversifying today’s teaching profession. Drawing from a 5-year study of 21 new teachers of color working in urban, hard-to-staff schools, this book uncovers a systemic paradox that the teachers confront. They are committed to improving educational opportunities for students of color by acting as role models, culturally/linguistically responsive teachers, and change agents. The teaching profession encouraged such commitments and some teachers acted with support from individual, organizational, and community-based sponsors. However, many of these new teachers work in schools that are culturally subtractive and have restrictive accountability policies that challenge their ability to perform cultural/professional roles to which they are committed. Many teachers internalize the contradiction, resulting in their becoming changed agents within the educational system they sought to change. This book on educational diversity is essential reading for educators, leaders, and policymakers.
Betty Achinstein is a researcher at the Center for Educational Research in the Interest of Underserved Students (CERIUS). Her recent books include: Mentors in the Making: Developing New Leaders for New Teachers and Community, Diversity, and Conflict Among Schoolteachers: The Ties that Blind. Rodney T. Ogawa is Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Educational Research in the Interest of Underserved Students (CERIUS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
"Change(d) Agents provides us with a set of hopeful options for supporting new teachers who choose to teach in our increasingly diverse schools. This is a must-read for pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, school administrators, policymakers, and teacher educators."
—Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“While much is now known about strategies for recruiting people of color into teaching, little empirical work has been devoted to understanding the experiences of new teachers of color in the profession. Change(d) Agents expertly addresses this glaring gap in the literature.”
—From the Foreword by Ana María Villegas, Professor of Curriculum and Teaching, Montclair State University, New Jersey
“Change(d) Agents should be required reading for anybody who cares about teaching and urban schools. Based on the experiences of 21 new teachers of color, this book offers powerful (and disturbing) insights about the impact of today’s accountability regime.”
—Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools, Director, Doctoral Program in Curriculum & Instruction, Lynch School of Education, Boston College