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What Does it Mean to Be a Teacher? Three Tensions within Contemporary Teacher Professionalism Examined in Terms of Government Policy and the Knowledge Economy

Leaton Gray, S. H.; (2006) What Does it Mean to Be a Teacher? Three Tensions within Contemporary Teacher Professionalism Examined in Terms of Government Policy and the Knowledge Economy. Forum , 48 (3) pp. 305-316. 10.2304/forum.2006.48.3.305. Green open access

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Abstract

This article debates three tensions within the contemporary teaching profession in Great Britain, in terms of education policy after the 1988 Education Reform Act. The first is between prospective and retrospective identities, as defined by Bernstein (1996/2000). The second is between teachers’ expectations of professional status, and centralised and highly regulated school inspections. Finally, the article looks at vocation in the teaching profession, and how this comes into conflict with issues of self-interest amongst teachers. The article concludes by suggesting another tension that is evident throughout all three earlier strands of debate, between democratic professionalism (Whitty, 2002) and the post-1988 education landscape. The article closes by suggesting that a future education act in favour of a more humane education system may resolve this situation.

Type: Article
Title: What Does it Mean to Be a Teacher? Three Tensions within Contemporary Teacher Professionalism Examined in Terms of Government Policy and the Knowledge Economy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2304/forum.2006.48.3.305
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/forum.2006.48.3.305
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471018
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