Reflexive professionalism : reclaiming the voice of authority in shaping the discourses of education policy

Bourke, Theresa, Ryan, Mary E., & Lidstone, John (2013) Reflexive professionalism : reclaiming the voice of authority in shaping the discourses of education policy. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 41(4), pp. 398-413.

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The nature and value of ‘professionalism’ has long been contested by both producers and consumers of policy. Most recently, governments have rewritten and redefined professionalism as compliance with externally imposed ‘standards’. This has been achieved by silencing the voices of those who inhabit the professional field of education. This paper uses Foucauldian archaeology to excavate the enunciative field of professionalism by digging through the academic and institutional (political) archive, and in doing so identifies two key policy documents for further analysis. The excavation shows that while the voices of (academic) authority speak of competing discourses emerging, with professional standards promulgated as the mechanism to enhance professionalism, an alternative regime of truth identifies the privileged use of (managerial) voices from outside the field of education to create a discourse of compliance. There has long been a mismatch between the voices of authority on discourses around professionalism from the academic archive and those that count in contemporary and emerging Australian educational policy. In this paper, we counter this mismatch and argue that reflexive educators’ regimes of truth are worthy of attention and should be heard and amplified.

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ID Code: 58667
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HERN
DOI: 10.1080/1359866X.2013.838619
ISSN: 1469-2945
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Education Systems not elsewhere classified (130199)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education © 2013 [copyright Taylor & Francis]; Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education is available online at:
Deposited On: 25 Mar 2013 23:53
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2014 15:14

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