10 SES 06 B, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
This paper takes up the metaphor of the classroom as a crucible for early learning professional learning where beginning teachers forge professional identities in complex, unpredictable, paradoxical, affectively and physically potent contexts of practice (Green, 2009; Stronach et al., 2002; Stronach, 2010). It responds to Hardy's 'call to complexity' in teacher learning (2010) by working into the dissonances and contradictions of accounts that eight high achieving early career English teachers give of their early professional learning in secondary schools in urban Australia. It traces the conflicts they experience in the gap between 'economies of performance' and 'ecologies of practice' within which they improvise new professional identities as teachers (Stronach, 2010). Their effective 'transmutations' into teachers are contingent on a bewildering range of factors, many of them out of their control. As the medieval transmutation of lead into gold was analogous to personal transformation, purification, and perfection, so new teachers aspire to ideals of practice, or of 'excellence' (McWilliam, 2008), that are impossible to achieve. The paper moves beyond simplistic conceptualisations of theory-practice binaries in new teachers' work and evaluates the impacts on these teachers of new pressures from globalised discourses of standardisation and professionalism that erase singularity, particularity and relationality (Green, 2009; Lingard & Rizvi, 2010). Rather it posits professional learning as complex identity work that is variously constrained and enabled by local institutional factors and policy contexts that impact on the capacity and desire of beginning teachers to introduce and sustain innovative pedagogies, especially in relation to creative writing practices in their English classes
AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership) (2011) National Professional Standards for Teachers. (February 2011) Available at: http://www.aitsl.edu.au/verve/_resources/AITSL_National_Professional_Standards_for_Teachers.pdf Gee, J. (2011) How to do discourse analysis: A toolkit. Abingdon: Routledge. Gannon, S. & Davies, C. (2007) For love of the word: English teaching, affect and writing. Changing English. 14(1), 87-98. Gannon, S. (2011) Creative writing in the National Curriculum. In B. Doecke, G. Parr & W. Sawyer (Eds.) Creating an Australian curriculum for English. Wakefield Press. Green, B. (2009) Understanding and Researching Professional Practice. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Hardy, I. (2010) Review essay. Teacher learning: A call to complexity. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural politics of education, 31(5), 713-723. Lather, P. (2010) Engaging policy from the side of the messy. New York: Peter Lang. Lingard,B. & Rizvi, F. (2010) Globalizing education policy. Abingdon: Routledge. McNally, I. & Blake. A. (Eds.) (2010) Improving learning in a professional context: A research perspective on the new teacher in school. Abingdon: Routledge. McWilliam, E. (2008) Making excellent teachers. In A. Phelan & J. Sumsion (Eds.) Critical readings in teacher education: Provoking absences. (pp. 33-44) Rotterdam: Sense publishers. Stronach, I., Corbin, B., McNamara, O., Stark, S. and Warne, T.(2002) 'Towards an uncertain politics of professionalism: teacher and nurse identities in flux', Journal of Educational Policy, 17: 109–38. Stronach, I. (2010) Globalizing education: Educating the local: How Method made us mad. Abingdon: Routledge
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