Kristan Morrison

Dr. Kristan Accles Morrison taught for seven years at conventional middle schools in North Carolina, which drove her to research alternative forms of education based on critical pedagogy and social justice. She earned her Ph.D. in the Cultural Foundations of Education from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and is now a professor in a teacher education program at Radford University, where she makes a point of introducing her students to educational alternatives. In this blog, Kristan reflects on her attempts to bridge the worlds of conventional and “alternative” forms of education. She considers how to bring more democratic and freedom-based practices into the realm of standard education, and how to discuss educational alternatives with a conventional audience. She explores the paradox of many teacher educators: preparing her students for teaching in the schools as they are, while also preparing them to help create the schools that could be.
Kristan Morrison has written 10 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

My Letter for the Campaign for Our Public Schools

Dear President Obama and Senators Webb and Warner, I am a professor of education who helps prepare individuals to be licensed VA school teachers, and who also provides professional development to in-service teachers.  I myself have 5 years of public school (and one year of private) middle school teaching experience in NC schools starting in … Continue reading

Is Educational Choice a Good Thing? Yes, If……

I am caught in a weird place.  I am a public university professor in a teacher education program who prepares people to be state-licensed teachers in our public schools.  Thus, some critics would argue that I am a tool of the public school/government monopoly over education.  But I am also an advocate of many other … Continue reading

Could Vouchers in Louisiana Be the Crowbar Needed to Get Progressive Alternatives Widely Accepted?

This morning, one of my graduate students sent me a link to a fascinating article about Louisiana’s new voucher program. In a nutshell, starting this fall, families with incomes of $58,000 or less, whose children now attend a public school where at least 25 percent of students test below grade level, are eligible to get … Continue reading

What Am I to Say to Aspiring Teachers?

At my university, I serve as the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Masters in Education program.  Part of this job entails serving as an advisor/recruiter to people who already have a Bachelor’s degree in some other field, but who wish to now earn a Masters in Education simultaneous with earning a state license to teach.  … Continue reading

Opportunistic Parasites in Our Schools

This weekend, my husband was at a bar watching an ACC basketball game.  He struck up a conversation with a fellow watcher and found out that this guy was a doctoral candidate in education.  He further found out that this man supported his graduate studies by being a “coach” to teachers in schools that were … Continue reading

My Love/Hate Relationship with Educational Numbers

A few months back, I wrote about how my college was going through the NCATE accreditation process. The outcome of that long event was a report about how we are doing. One area in which we were “dinged” was in our assessments of our graduate programs. As director of one of our biggest graduate programs, … Continue reading

Is Our Education System Broken? Maybe Just Its Definitions

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! In honor of tomorrow, I thought I’d try to tie in my post to the holiday in some way. It might be ham-handed, but I saw a connection! More on that later. I have been having some lively discussions lately with a valued colleague at my university regarding American schools. He argues … Continue reading

Teacher(s) Transformed

It is comprehensive exam time at my university for our Master’s in Education program and today I had a vivid reminder of what education should be and can be about–transformation.  I frequently tell my students that the Latin root of education is educare, which means to bring out, change, grow, and I got confirmation of … Continue reading

Wastes of Time in Education: Do I Need an Accreditation Attitude Adjustment?

What does the phrase “waste of time” mean to you?  To me, it is when I spend time doing something that seems to serve no majorly useful purpose.  The “seems to” is a subjective qualifier here – what one person views as a waste of time may not beseen as such by others.  For example, … Continue reading

Finding the Courage to Work for Change

Classes start for me next Monday and I am filled with my normal, beginning-of-the-year existential angst: am I doing a job that is making a difference or not? I believe I have touched on this concern of mine in past posts, but for some reason I’m really weighed down with it this year. It’s not … Continue reading

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