Maintaining meritocratic mythologies: Teach For America and Ako Mātātupu: Teach First New Zealand

Crawford-Garrett, K., Oldham, S. and Thomas, M. A. M. (2021) Maintaining meritocratic mythologies: Teach For America and Ako Mātātupu: Teach First New Zealand. Comparative Education, 57(3), pp. 360-376. (doi: 10.1080/03050068.2021.1885130)

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Alternative teacher education programmes associated with the Teach For All network are emerging worldwide. Largely inspired by Teach For America, these programmes draw on the meritocratic vision that ‘one day’ all children will receive a high-quality education and fulfil their potential. This paper questions the underlying ideology of meritocracy as evident in two Teach For All affiliate programmes – Teach for America and Ako Mātātupu: Teach First New Zealand. By drawing on qualitative data collected from across both programmes including interviews with participants and stakeholders, this article explores the ways in which meritocratic discourses undergird each programme’s mission and are subsequently voiced by participant teachers. Findings suggest that, despite significant differences in socio-political and economic contexts, strikingly similar discourses surface. We argue that the meritocratic ideologies evident in both contexts promote narrow definitions of ‘achievement’, disillusionment among teachers, and a general obfuscation of inequality.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thomas, Dr Matthew
Authors: Crawford-Garrett, K., Oldham, S., and Thomas, M. A. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Comparative Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1360-0486
Published Online:04 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Comparative Education 57(3):360-376
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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