Colonized teachers: Examining the implementation of a scripted reading program


During a time of reform and accountability, school districts are closely monitoring teachers' instructional decisions, practices, and classroom environments. In this paper, we apply neocolonial theory to describe the experiences of elementary grade teachers in one California school district who are required to follow a scripted basal reading program. This framework allows us to view teachers' interactions with program mandates through a critical lens. Focusing upon district surveillance of teachers, we suggest that through the implementation of a standard curriculum the district is exercising overt control. We introduce the following three characteristics as they connect to the teachers' situation: redefined, restricted, and subsumed. These terms are then related to the theory of neocolonialism. After a brief description of teachers' reactions to the curriculum, we use the terms as embedded in the theory to describe the situation of mandates and colonization tactics used by the district. © 2004, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. © 2004, Routledge. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Teaching Education