03 SES 14 A, Teacher Education and Curriculum: Discourse, Policy, Practice (Part I)
Symposium Part I, to be continued in 03 SES 15
In recent decades, the EU and the OECD have played increasing roles in influencing global policy on teacher quality and teacher education (TE). A pertinent issue in policy discourse is the relationship between teachers’ performance, TE and educational success (Nordin & Wahlström, 2019; Robertson, 2012; Robertson & Sorensen, 2017). While the notion of research-based TE remains a strong element in the Swedish policy on TE curriculum (Alvunger & Wahlström, 2017), a discourse stressing performativity and functional competences has gained ground, bolstered by a logic of “better prepared for the class-room in less time”. In a revision of the system of qualifications “subject-specific methodology” was added in the national TE curricula. The government is preparing for reforms including more practical and methodical elements and practice-integrated forms in TE, paired with a push for smoother pathways to become a teacher. For several reasons, this turn towards performativity and teaching as a ‘craft’ is interesting to study from a curriculum theory perspective. By using Bernstein’s (2000) concept of the pedagogic device as a theoretical framework – and with the Swedish TE policy landscape as a back-drop – this paper explores and identifies emergent meanings of ‘teacher professionalism’ and ‘teacher preparedness’ in the recontextualization of learning outcomes in the national TE curriculum. In this context, recontextualization is understood as a process of ‘meaning-making’ of learning outcomes and their transformation into new meanings in the pedagogic recontextualization field (Bernstein, 2000; cf. Singh, 2017). The guiding research questions are: What prominent and essential features do teacher education institutions ascribe the preparedness of teacher students? What meanings of teacher professionalism emerge in the transformation of the national learning outcomes? The paper draws from a content analysis (Bryman, 2018) and is inspired by Sachs’ (2016) four typologies of teacher professionalism to unpack the recontextualization of learning outcomes. The empirical data consists of self-evaluation reports written by Swedish universities during two separate but recent national audits of primary/secondary and upper secondary teacher education, conducted by the Swedish Higher Education Authority. Results show that the reports are not only to be considered representations and meanings based on the TE institutions’ interpretation and transformation of the learning outcomes but also accounts of how they adapt to the framing within an evaluative and auditing discourse. The analysis suggests there is an emphasis on a combination of ‘controlled professionalism’ and ‘professionalism as performance’ together with ‘co-operative professionalism’.
Alvunger, D. & Wahlström, N. (2017). Research-based teacher education? Exploring the meaning potentials of Swedish teacher education, Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, DOI: 10.180/13540602.2017.1403315 Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Theory, research, critique. Revised edition. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (1999). Relationships of knowledge and practice: Teacher learning in communities. Review of Research in Education, 24, 249–305. Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57, 300–314. Nordin, A. & Wahlström, N. (2019). Transnational policy discourses on ’teacher quality’: An educational connoisseurship and criticism approach. Policy Futures in Education, 1–17. Robertson, S.L. (2012). Placing Teachers in Global Governance Agendas, Comparative Education Review, 56(4), 584–607. Robertson, S. & Sorensen, . (2017). Global transformations of the state, governance and teachers’ labour: Putting Bernstein’s conceptual grammar to work. European Educational Research Journal, 1–19 Sachs, J. (2016). Teacher professionalism: Why are we still talking about it? Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 22, 413–425. Singh, P. (2017). Pedagogic governance: Theorising with/after Bernstein. British Journal of Sociology of Education 38(2): 144–163.
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