23 SES 06 A, Curriculum Policy Reforms and Their Implications (Part 2)
Paper Session continued from 23 SES 05 A, to be continued in 23 SES 07 A
The redesign of school education and teaching in particular in recent times is characterized by two directions of reform, professionalism or bureaucracy (see Firestone & Bader, 1991). The former respects the ambiguities and complexities accompanying teaching and learning, viewing them in terms that requires professional judgment which draws upon a field specific research base mindful of the situational considerations of context. Bureaucracy conversely conceptualizes teaching in standardized ways. It assumes that teaching is a field founded on certainties with a scientific evidence base and that all pedagogic conditions including the problems of contemporary school education are solvable by invoking ‘what works’ practical solutions. Current attempts to standardize education systems have also re-configured teacher preparation programmes so that the productivity of school education is measured against the effectiveness of instruction delivered by capable, effective and quality teachers. The research presented in this paper explores how a major school education report on teacher education/preparation from Australia, and a strategic framework document prepared by the European Commission (EC) on the activities considered priority areas in education and training for member states of the European Union (EU), each with an influence on school education policy (a) contribute to a reductive pedagogy emphasizing conformity and accountability, and (b) put at risk the affective labour of teachers as ‘carers’ of students’ learning and development.
The research is guided by the following research question: what are the pedagogic implications of school education reforms geared towards minimalist expressions of teacher capability, teacher effectiveness and teacher quality?
The key objective of the study is to critically theorise terms such as capability, effectiveness and quality, their ‘enactment’ (Braun, Ball, Maguire & Hoskins, 2011) in major education/training reports and strategic framework documents and to identify the implicit factors of ‘performativity’ (Ball, 2003) and classroom based practice that connects these terms to the productivity of teachers’ pedagogy and school education systems more generally. The conceptual basis around school education reform hinges on a change and improvement rationale (Hursh, 2015), a major aim of which is the redefinition of what constitutes ‘good teaching, effective schooling and quality learning’ (Ball, 2005). A missing element in any conceptual link between (a) teacher capability, teacher effectiveness and teacher quality and (b) student achievement is a qualitative exposition of the pedagogic components embedded in each of these expressions. Indeed, a possible consequence of major transnational education/training reports and strategic frameworks championing reform is to situate school education within a ‘dialectic of crisis and recovery’ (Slater, 2015) resulting in a reification of pedagogy that diminishes the complex and contingent.
The paper is framed theoretically on several concepts connected to the school improvement and effectiveness literature including (a) the reorientation of school education to economic functions (Ball, 2008), (b) the ‘abstracted empiricism’ which ignores questions of context (Lauder, Jamieson & Wikeley, 1998), and (c) the mobilisation of a crisis rhetoric in school education and teacher preparation/education (Rowan et al. 2015; Ball, 2006).
Ball, S. (2008). The education debate. Bristol: Policy Press. Ball, S. (2006). Discipline and chaos: The new right and discourses of derision. In S. Ball (Ed.), Education policy and social class: The selected works of Stephen J. Ball (pp. 26–42). London: Routledge. Ball, S.J. 2005. Education Policy and Social Class: The Selected Works of Stephen Ball. 1st ed. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor & Francis. Ball, S. J. 2003. “The Teacher’s Soul and the Terrors of Performativity.” Journal of Education Policy 18 (2): 215–228. Bowe, R., S. Ball, and A. Gold. 1992. Reforming education and changing schools. London: Routledge. Braun, Annette., Ball, Stephen J., Maguire, Meg & Hoskins, Kate (2011) Taking context seriously: towards explaining policy enactments in the secondary school, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 32:4, 585-596. Education & Training (2020). Retrieved from http://www.oidel.org/doc/Doc_colonn_droite_defaultpage/ET%202020%20RESUME.pdf Firestone, W. A., & Bader, B. D. (1991). Professionalism or Bureaucracy? Redesigning Teaching. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 13, 67–86. Foucault, M. (1997). The Politics Of Truth. New York: Semiotext(e). Foucault, M. (1984). The order of discourse. In Shapiro, M. (ed.), Language and Politics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Foucault, M. (1980). Truth and power. In C. Gordon (Ed.), Power/knowledge. selected interviews and other writings. 1972–1977. Michel Foucault (pp. 109–133). New York: Pantheon Books. Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and Punish. The Birth Of The Prison, UK: Penguin Books. Giroux, H. (2011). On Critical Pedagogy. New York: Continuum. Hursh, D. (2015). The End of Public Schools: The Corporate Reform Agenda to Privatize Education. London: Routledge. Jäger, S., & Jäger, M. (2007). Deutungskämpfe. Theorie und Praxis Kritischer Diskurskanalyse.Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Lauder, H., Jamieson, I., & Wikeley, F. (1998). Models of effective schools: Limits and capabilities. In R. Slee, & G. Weiner (Eds.), School effectiveness for whom? (pp 51-69). London: Falmer. Slater, Graham B. (2015) Education as recovery: neoliberalism, school reform, and the politics of crisis, Journal of Education Policy, 30:1, 1-20. Rowan, L., Mayer, D., Kline, J., Kostogriz, A. & Walker-Gibbs, B. (2015) Investigating the effectiveness of teacher education for early career teachers in diverse settings: the longitudinal research we have to have, Australian Educational Researcher, 42: 273-298. Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group Report (2014) Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.studentsfirst.gov.au/teacher-education-ministerial-advisory-group Winton, Sue (2013) Rhetorical analysis in critical policy research, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26:2, 158-177
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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