Teachers at the Table
Voice, Agency, and Advocacy in Educational Policymaking
Lexington Press 2018
Annalee Good, an evaluator and researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, joins us in this episode to discuss her recently published book, Teachers at the Table: Voice, Agency, and Advocacy in Educational Policymaking (Lexington Press, 2018). Our conversation begins with her own journey from teaching middle school social studies to studying teacher engagement in policy advocacy. This research is particularly timely (though of course always timely!) with the 2018 wave of teacher strikes across the United States and record numbers of teachers running for office.
Having teachers involved in policy advocacy is critical for policy quality and legitimacy, yet they often aren’t. Annalee’s book is a systematic inquiry into the institutional forces that make it hard for teachers to engage in policymaking, and she contrasts these barriers with the ways they do have a voice and agency. Her study focuses on mentor and intern teachers who participated in a policy-focused professional development program in West Virginia. Through her qualitative data analysis, contextualized with national surveys, the voices of the participating teachers come through, underscoring that teachers have more power and more expertise than they often perceive.
We close the episode hearing about the new work Annalee and Jerry are doing through the Wisconsin Education Policy, Outreach, and Practice group (WEPOP), which is dedicated to teacher-driven conversation about public policy. This group work runs summer policy 101 workshops with pre-service teachers, writes policy-in-practice briefs, and offers sessions at regional EdCamps. Find out more about their work and follow them on twitter @WEPOPwisc.
Julie Kallio is a graduate student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her research interests include research-practice partnerships, educational change, innovation and improvement networks, and participatory design. You can find more about her work on her website, follow her on twitter, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gerald Dryer is a graduate student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research explores the relation between social justice and personalized learning in schools. Follow him on twitter @GeraldDryer or check out his research and vacation photos at: https://punkphd.wordpress.com.