ERG SES B 07, Parallel Session B 07
Teacher professionalism has long been an object of contestation in education policy research literature. However, the dichotomy of re/deprofessionalism which appears in this literature, I argue, portrays only part of the overall picture and partly misconstrues what is at issue. What has been changed in terms of professional lives and work of teachers in last 25 years is the pattern of control and the extent of autonomy teachers possess. It is a change, as Dale lucidly puts it, from ‘licensed autonomy’ to ‘regulated autonomy’ (Dale, 1989). The primary focus of the research is to stress the important role played by the state in intervening in education provision and the professional lives and work of teachers since the 1980s. Furthermore, I assert the need to take into account the broader social, historical and political contexts in which teacher professionalism has been developed and deployed during this period. Drawing in particular on frameworks of the Rise of Professional Society England since 1880 (Perkin, 1989), Professions and Power (Johnson, 1972) and the Rise of Professionalism: a Sociological Analysis (Larson, 1977), this research is based on an approach which views professionalism discourses as socio-political devices and emphasizes the power dimension in the process where the teaching profession in England aspires to their professional status and gains official recognition of their professional expertise. Reforms in initial teacher education (ITE) is selected as the object of policy-making analysis in this research. By tracing the origins, construction and implementation of policy change in ITE since 1980s, I aim to achieve an understanding of : *the ways in which teachers are constituted through policy discourse; *the power relations between teachers and the state; *how meaning is produced through the power relations in terms of what it means to be a teacher. These understandings and objectives will be achieved through addressing and answering the following two sets of research questions: 1. On discourses of professionalism: What was/is teacher professionalism? Who deployed(-s) it? How was/is it constructed and for what purposes? 2. On teacher-state relationship and policy: How have teachers’ subjectivities been constituted through the historical change in teacher education policy? How has the state’s role been transformed within these policy developments? What forms of power relations between teacher and the state have been produced in relation to these policy changes?
Dale, R. (1989). The State and Education Policy. Great Britain: Open University Press. Foucault, M. (1976). Truth and Power. In J. D. Faubion (Ed.), Essential Works of Michel Foucault, Vol.3, Power (pp.111-133). England: Penguin Books. Johnson, T J. (1972). Professions and Power. London: The Macmillan Press. Larson, M S. (1977). The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis. London: University of California Press. Perkin, H. (1989). The Rise of Professional Society: England Since 1880. London: Routledge.
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