BOULDER, CO (October 17, 2017) – In this month’s NEPC Education Interview of the Month, Lewis and Clark College Emeritus Professor of Education Gregory A. Smith talks with Michigan State University Professor Alyssa Hadley Dunn, the author of a series of articles about teachers’ viral resignation letters, including Activism through attrition?: An exploration of viral resignation letters and the teachers who wrote them, Leaving a Profession After It’s Left You: Teachers’ Public Resignation Letters as Resistance Amidst Neoliberalism, and With regret: The genre of teachers’ public resignation letters.
Join Smith and Dunn for an engaging conversation about what can be learned about working conditions in contemporary U.S. schools from teachers’ resignation letters.
In their studies of the letters, Professor Dunn and her colleagues found that no matter what state teachers were from or how long they had been in the profession, all were experiencing the current neoliberal policy context in much the same way. “They felt like learning had been reduced to teaching to the test, learning opportunities had been curtailed, and that their own voices as teachers were being continually silenced,” Dunn noted. They also experienced frustration in constantly dealing with top-down mandates and increasing bureaucracy at the same time as they saw their salaries and benefits stagnating or even decreasing. “We found that overall, the letters paint a very stark reality of teaching in public schools today.”
A new NEPC Education Interview of the Month, hosted by Gregory A. Smith, will be released each month from September through May.
Don’t worry if you miss a month. All NEPC Education Interview of the Month podcasts are archived on the NEPC website and can be found here.
Coming Next Month
In November, Greg’s guest will be Ken Zeichner of the University of Washington. Greg and Ken will explore the creation of independent teacher education programs and their implications for public schools.
Stay tuned in to NEPC for smart, engaging conversations about education policy.