In “Beyond the Invisible Barriers of the Classroom: iEngage and Civic Praxis,” the authors reported on the experiences teachers encountered during a weeklong Youth Engage Civic Institute Camp and the degree to which what teachers learned in the camp was able to move their thinking and practice toward a more critical, justice-oriented approach to civic education. The authors’ analysis thus “considers the ideological shifts the counselors [teachers] made and the likelihood that they will teach beyond the formal classroom as they return to more traditional environments” (Magill et al., 2020, p. 2). In that, the authors were interested not only in what teachers learned at the camp and how it impacted their thinking about civic education but, also, in issues of contextual transfer: whether the teachers were inclined to make the learning gained at the camp material in their future teaching in classrooms back home. This response both questions the ability of a weeklong professional development to change teachers’ civic imagination as well as the ability of studies using traditional qualitative frameworks to get at the complex psychic processes involved in attempts to shift teachers’ understanding about practice. Specifically, the piece focuses on concepts borrowed from psychoanalytic theories in education to explore the manner in which learning also always involves not learning and the processes of ignorance and resistance teachers might be using to both embrace and reject change at the same time.

Response to Article

Kevin Russel Magill, Victoria Davis Smith, Brooke Blevins, and Karon N. LeCompte, Beyond the Invisible Barriers of the Classroom: iEngage and Civic Praxis