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Relays and relations: tracking a policy initiative for improving teacher professionalism

Reeves J & Drew V (2012) Relays and relations: tracking a policy initiative for improving teacher professionalism. Journal of Education Policy, 27 (6), pp. 711-730.

This paper offers a new way of exploring some of the complexities inherent in attempts by policy makers and others to promote educational change. The focus of this study is on the current drive in education policy to alter the basis of teacher professionalism through the application of principles of lifelong learning to teachers’ professional development. Drawing upon data from two studies of the Chartered Teacher initiative in Scotland the paper examines the formation of successive transmission points as material relays of relations during the process of implementing this policy objective. It explores how three key discursive elements of a professional standard for accomplished teaching: collaborative action, critical reflection and enquiry, and teacher leadership, were progressively recontextualised during the introduction of Chartered Teacher status in schools. The findings indicate some of the conceptual and political struggles involved at the critical junctures where policy implementation requires the movement of a discourse from one social context to another. The paper suggests that a discursive analysis of how a centrally mandated initiative is transmitted can help to promote an understanding of the complexities of this process and increase critical awareness of the issues at stake for those involved.

networks; policy implementation; pedagogy; professional standards; Teachers In-service training; Teachers Training of

Journal of Education Policy: Volume 27, Issue 6

Author(s)Reeves, Jenny; Drew, Valerie
Publication date30/11/2012
Date accepted by journal12/12/2011
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
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