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Teacher Education Reform as Political Theater
Russian Policy Dramas
Teacher Education Reform as Political Theater
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Elena Aydarova - Author
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 336 pages
Release Date: October 2019
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7615-5

Price: $32.95 
Paperback - 336 pages
Release Date: July 2020
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7614-8

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An ethnography of Russian teacher education reforms as scripted performances of political theater.

Around the world, countries undertake teacher education reforms in response to international norms and assessments. Russia has been no exception. Elena Aydarova develops a unique theatrical framework to tell the story of a small group of reformers who enacted a major reform to modernize teacher education in Russia. Based on scripts circulated in global policy networks and ideologies of national development, this reform was implemented despite great opposition—but how? Drawing on extensive ethnographic material, Aydarova teases out the contradictions in this process. Teacher Education Reform as Political Theater reveals how the official story of improving education obscured dramatic and, ultimately, socially conservative changes in the purposes of schooling, the nature and perception of teachers’ work, and the design of teacher education. Despite the official rhetoric, Aydarova argues, modernization reforms such as we see in the Russian context normalize social inequality and put educational systems at the service of global corporations. As similar dramas unfold around the world, this book considers how members of scholarly communities and the broader public can respond to reformers’ stories of crises and urgent calls for reform on other national stages.

“This book provides an unprecedented ethnographic look into the making of national education policy. The setting, amazingly, is Russia, but the volume raises questions about how ideas become policy in other nations as well. It is thus a highly provocative and fascinating case study that should get the attention of anyone interested in national and global education policymaking.” — Kathryn Anderson-Levitt, coeditor of Comparing Ethnographies: Local Studies of Education Across the Americas

Elena Aydarova is Assistant Professor of Social Foundations at Auburn University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Part I. Historical Context: Sowing the Seeds of Discontent

Part II. Directing Social Change: Russian Policy Dramas

1. Actors

2. Masks and Guises

3. Dress Rehearsals and Missing Directors

4. Light and Shadows

5. Props, Scripts, and Playwrights

6. Money Matters


Appendix A. Summary of the Policy
Appendix B. Theoretical Foundations
Appendix C. Methodology and Data Analysis

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