Teaching sociology within teacher education : revisiting, realigning and re-embedding
This paper uses theoretical resources from the sociology of education to consider the teaching of sociology in teacher education programs in Australia. Once a disciplinary ‘pillar’ of teacher education, sociology’s contribution has become less explicit while more integrated, with consequences for disciplinary identity. Here we explore how sociology is taught in teacher education curricula on two fronts. Firstly we outline how sociology is embedded as one of a number of competing perspectives in foundational studies, and its pedagogic consequences. Then we consider the powerful contribution of sociology in literacy studies, amidst public debate about literacy performance. The analysis draws on Bernstein’s (2000) distinction between singular disciplinary curriculum design and practically-oriented regional curriculum design. We seek to trouble the commonsense binary between theory and practice that structures debates around professional education in higher education more broadly, and to dignify service sociology as a valuable, generative site for the discipline’s future.
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