Teacher Professionalism: subverting the society of control (FORUM 2)

Author: PHIL WOOD

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Publication date: June 1, 2014

PHIL WOOD

The past 30 years have seen a series of major shifts in English education. Central to these changes has been the growth of data systems which now measure and control the work of teachers to a huge degree. This form of data-led surveillance was predicted in the work of Gilles Deleuze, a totalising process where data become more important than the individuals to which they relate. This article considers the ramifications of the development of a ‘Society of Control’ within education before arguing that teachers have begun to identify and occupy nomadic spaces capable of subverting State narratives and building new opportunities for professionalism. The development of teacher-led professional development and the use of social media have both led to new opportunities for professional dialogue and debate which are important in counteracting policy developments enacted by those outside the profession. Finally, it is suggested that responsibilities come with the creation of new spaces for professional dialogue and development if teachers are to move centre stage in the wider educational debate.

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