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"Teach First" as a dispositif : towards a critical ontology of policy and power

Bailey, PLJ; (2015) "Teach First" as a dispositif : towards a critical ontology of policy and power. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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This thesis is a study of power. More specifically, it is a study of some of the myriad forms and operations of power which animate and condition the present, and which can be observed in the governing of education policy. A material post-structural approach to policy sociology is developed and then deployed in exploring the ontology of the education state and the teacher. The thesis puts to work the 'methods' and 'sensibilities' of Foucauldian genealogy and critical ethnography, and in doing so attends to some of the history of power and its insinuations in the governing and administering of education. Drawing on Michel Foucault's methodological and analytical concept of the dispositif, education policy is conceptualised as an historical and contingent formation of material objects, discourses and practices - a policy dispositij. At the same time, dispositifis applied as an analytical device for investigating the 'micro-physics' and 'immanence' of power, or the different ways in which power operates in minute and molecular ways in individual and heterogeneous encounters. Dispositifis also applied as a critical tool for exposing the ways in which the present is conditioned and fabricated within, and by, multiple forces of enablement and constraint. The thesis explores some of these operations of power as can be observed in a particular site of policy performance and experience: the social enterprise and education charity Teach First. This contemporary policy organisation and its particular 'version' of the teacher are placed within a wider and historical field of practices. A number of different modalities of power are conceptually and empirically animated over the course of the thesis, all of which, it is argued, are relevant for understanding Teach First and the governing of policy and society today. These include what can be described as government, bio-power and sovereignty.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: "Teach First" as a dispositif : towards a critical ontology of policy and power
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by EThOS.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Cruciform Teaching Facilities Unit
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546650
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