23 SES 05 B, Effects of Reform on Teachers and Schools
According to Richard Johnson (1986), the object of cultural studies consists of ‘the historical forms of consciousness and subjectivity, or … the subjective side of social relations.’ With this definition in mind, this paper tracks the development of cultural change in English schooling during the period of Labour Government. It aims to sketch the ways in which changes in policy, governance, management and systems of teaching and learning have produced, or sought to produce, changes in the consciousness and subjectivity of teachers and students. It thus seeks to trace the effects of policy at the level of the school, while at the same time registering the ways in which policy is both contested and contradictory.
The paper will delineate main three strands of change, in their relation to ‘consciousness and subjectivity’:
1) Changes in meanings, and in value systems at the level of the school. Relevant here are:
- the shift in definitions of teacher ‘professionalism’ – away from an emphasis on autonomy of judgment, and towards an emphasis on the satisfactory performance of an agenda determined at the level of policy-making (Gewirtz et al 2009);
- the broadening of the mission of the school – so as to emphasise its links with other ‘social services’, and its role in relation to pupil welfare;
- the use of highly specified national programmes to shape curricular and pedagogy (Kress, Jewitt, Jones at al 2005)
- the effects of target-setting, and other techniques that promote performativity, on educational practice and understandings of educational purpose. (Thomson, Jones and Hall 2009)
- the increased use of technologies of surveillance to monitor pupil performance and behaviour (Jones & Jewitt forthcoming).
2) Change in discourses concerning educational purpose. Important here is the shift from the nationalistic discourses associated with the Thatcher period, to more economised discourses, informed by neo-liberalism. The inter-relationship of economised discourses, with an attempt to promote opportunity and social inclusion gives the ‘New Labour’ period its distinctive identity, not only at the level of the policy, but at that of the school (Thomson, Jones and Hall 2009).
3) The effect of projects that seek to identify and manage – through schooling – processes of cultural change. Salient here are the apparently contradictory impulses to promote:
- experiments with ‘creative’ education as a means of addressing opportunities thought to be presented by the knowledge economy, and of dealing with the problems generated by a focus on measurable performance;
- attempts to manage issues of ‘race’, religion and radicalism that gave been generated by social exclusion and the effects of the war on terror (Cantle 2005, Kundnani 2009, Shain 2009).
The paper will conclude that ‘culture’ has been regarded by Labour governments as an important field of action. ‘Cultural change’ has been seen as an important goal at the level of the institution. More widely, Labour’s programme rests upon claims that cultural change at a societal level necessitates innovation of several kinds.
Thomson, P., Jones, K. and Hall, C. (2009) 'Creative School Change Project: final report' Keele and Nottingham Universities Jones, K. (2009) 'Culture and Creative Learning' London, Creative Partnerships/Arts Council England Jones K. et al (2008) 'Schooling in Western Europe: the new order and its adversaries' Basingstoke, Palgrave Kress, G., Jewitt, C., Jones, K. et al (2005) 'English in Urban Classrooms London, Routledge Johnson, R, (1986) 'What is Cultural Studies Anyway?' Social Text 16: 38-80
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
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.