Teacher professional standards : mirage or miracle cure - an archaeology of professionalism in education

Bourke, Theresa (2011) Teacher professional standards : mirage or miracle cure - an archaeology of professionalism in education. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis is a problematisation of the development and implementation of professional standards as the mechanism to enhance professionalism and teacher quality in the teaching force within Australia and, more specifically, Queensland. Drawing on tools from Foucauldian archaeological analysis, the dominant discourses of professionalism from the academic literature, Australian federal and state policy documents and narratives from Queensland teachers are examined. These data sets are then cross referenced, analysing the intersections and divergences between the different texts. Findings suggest that through policy, political strategy and derisory statements from various authoritative voices, the managerial discourse of professionalism through professional standards documents has been unduly privileged as a means of regulating teachers, despite the fact that teachers themselves do not share this dominant notion of professionalism. The teachers in this study proffer ‘new classical-practical professionalism’ as a counter discourse, or discourse of resistance, to managerialism. However, an application of Foucault’s theorisations on power-knowledge reveals that their spoken discourses mean they are in fact yielding to the discourse of professional standards as docile bodies.

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ID Code: 51051
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Lidstone, John, O'Farrell, Clare, & Ryan, Mary
Keywords: archaeology, archive, discourses, examination, hierarchical observation, normalisation, policy, professional standards, professionalism, statements
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2012 05:12
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:44

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