Towards the Victimless School: Power, Professionalism and Probity in Teaching
This paper argues the importance of moving beyond the state of affairs that makes victims either of children or of teachers by exploring the conditions of possibility for the idea of a victimless school. The argument is developed drawing data from a study being conducted by the authors into the impact of risk management on teacher work and identity in a number of Australian primary schools (McWilliam, Singh & Sachs, 2002). The argument put is that risk minimisation as a system of management and surveillance (including self-surveillance) is producing some effects (whether intended or not) that are counterproductive for teachers and, indeed, for children, the very group they are purported to protect. In order to counter the more pernicious effects of this logic, teachers need actively to engage in seeking ways to optimise child protection and staff protection simultaneously.
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