Problematising Teachers’ Work in Dangerous Times

  • John Smyth
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 22)


Teachers’ work around the world is being hijacked, distorted and deformed almost beyond recognition—and much of it is going on largely unopposed. This chapter will do some of the stage-setting for this book by asking the question: ‘what are the “bastards” who are doing this, really up to?’ and the presentation of an alternative view around approaches to teacher education. This chapter will sketch out the major lines this grotesque deformity is taking, most noticeably: Excessive and unprecedented levels of political interference A failed attempt to harness schools to the economy The imposition of an inappropriate market model with its damaging paradigm and ideology The insertion of a consumption exchange relationship into schooling The subservience of the relational work of schools to that of management The conversion of everything to do with schools into some kind of ‘value-added’ political spectacle that has converted schools into an empty managerial husk (Seddon) There will be a particular focus on the cult of efficiency; market power; targets and outcome delivery; standards, benchmarks, performance indicators and league tables; competition and choice; and an emaciated version of skills training, vocationalism and ‘education for life’.


School Choice Relational Space Emotional Work Teaching Force Australian High Education 
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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of BallaratMt HelenAustralia

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