Rhetorics of professional change: assembling the means to act differently?



Reeves J & I'Anson J (2014) Rhetorics of professional change: assembling the means to act differently?. Oxford Review of Education, 40 (5), pp. 649-666.

In an earlier study of learning on a practice-based postgraduate programme participants indicated that certain artefacts were critically important in enabling them to gain ‘permission' to act differently in their schools. Picking up on this suggestion, this study begins to explore how looking at the composition of texts by teachers as a rhetorical activity raises questions about power and relations in professional learning processes. The role of artefacts in relation to professional learning is explored here by examining how teachers on a practice-based Chartered Teacher (CT) programme in Scotland constructed accounts, in the form of reflective reports and portfolios of evidence, that legitimated their practice and learning on the course. It explores how these teachers drew upon a variety of texts to construct rhetorics suited to the specific audiences and contexts they needed to address with these artefacts. The paper argues that taking this deconstructive approach to the analysis of such accounts draws attention to their micro-political significance. Potentially they provide a means whereby teachers may rehearse arguments and shape narratives that may be used to support claims to agency in their school settings.

rhetoric; professional learning; relations between networked spaces;teacher agency

Oxford Review of Education: Volume 40, Issue 5

Publication date31/12/2014
PublisherTaylor and Francis

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Dr John I'Anson

Dr John I'Anson

Senior Lecturer, Education