Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Dr. Barbara Veltri

Northern Arizona University
15601 N. 28th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85053

A Tale of Two Countries: Teach For America/Teach For India as Globalized Educational Reform
“For The Public Good?”

Over the past two decades significant social, political and technological changes appear to have seriously revamped educational policies, paradigms, and philosophies as a result of economic and social globalization. High profile corporations and philanthropic foundations advertise that teaching mostly poor minority youth is equated to performing honorable public works.

Historically, public education has been perceived as both a ‘birthright’ in the United States of America, and, as a means for social and economic mobility. Schooling, for the most part, was off-limits, along with houses of worship, from free market competition and corporatization for most of the 20th century.

But globalization “for the public good,” has opened doors for philanthropy, corporate-sponsored interventions, public policies and neo-liberal agendas that specifically target education, for poor children. Teach For America, created in the United States, serves as the model of non-education-school teacher training in twelve countries around the globe, including India. “Teach For India is a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals who will commit two-years to teach full-time in under-resourced areas.” (Retrieved on August 6, 2010

This paper compares both programs from five themes: educational reform, educational financing, governmental policies, corporate and philanthropic alliances, and media meta-narratives.

To achieve this goal our paper will include a review of documents, (district contracts with Teach For America; TFA/TIA' recruiting materials, corporate and philanthropic press releases, articles, web sites,); corps members’ interviews, e-mails from TFA/TFI alumni and corps members, mentor teachers and school district administrators. Transcripts of recorded interviews, analyzed and coded, along with the hard data collected from teacher educator archives, and philanthropic and corporate tax returns reveal themes and nuances that impact teacher education, policy and politics.
Findings suggest that unintended consequences result when globalization “for the public good” is framed as public educational policy.


Dr. Barbara Torre Veltri is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University. Her research interests include teacher education, alternative certification pathways, Teach For America, social studies education and teaching through a sports-themed curriculum.

Dr. Veltri holds permanent certification in both New York and Connecticut and earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University in 2005. Dr. David Berliner served as the chair of her doctoral committee.