I have not conducted any formal or systematic study of the ideas, but this assignment prompts students to read scores of these reaction papers and participate in discussions of this text. Th is has highlighted patterns of response that serve to illuminate the challenge of rationale-based social studies teacher education. One surprisingly common response is to avoid questions relating to purpose altogether. Over the years, many methods students have side-stepped issues of purpose for a discussion of how soon a teacher would be fi red for bringing a gun to a public school. Issues of weapons and zero-tolerance policies aside, the article taps into the very real fear many student teachers express that they put their jobs at risk should they stray from the offi cial curriculum to address controversial issues, alternative historical narratives, or progressive perspectives on pressing social issues. Other methods students have avoided questions of purpose by pointing out that Olson is teaching college students, so the article does not really speak to preservice teachers who are preparing to teach secondary social studies.