Do teachers trust policies and policy makersPresentation Transcript
Do teachers trust policies and policy makers?: Between the rhetoric of policy and the reality of implementation of UK literacy policy since 2001 By Dr. Gordon O. Ade-Ojo University of Greenwich
Coverage of presentation
Towards a new framework/construct for evaluating trust: Trust and promise
Description of research focus, data collection/sample
Analysis: Preliminary findings/conclusions
Background / rationale
Significant proportion of literature on trust tend to draw from a model that personalises trust: Person to person/ group of persons to individuals/groups
There is an element of the physical: Do teachers trust principals? Do managers have the trust of their staff? What might be the impact of trust/lack of trust on performance of---?
A focus on superior vs inferior/ senior vs junior. Hence, many studies in the literature have focused on leadership and trust. Yet, others have acknowledged other facets to the construct of trust.
E.g ‘Embedded in the notion of trust is the key distinction between the “trustee” and “trustor” or, said another way, those having more or less power (or dependence) in a particular situation’ Wahlstrom and Louis (2008:462)
I argue that trust is a reciprocal concept and should be explored between ‘follower and leader’ and vice versa.
I argue that the physical/personal essence that we focus on in trust analysis reduces the possibility of assessing trust in relationships that are not explicitly physical. E.g between policy/policy makers and practitioners who do not have physical relationships : ‘ trust as the extent to which one engages a relationship and is willing to be vulnerable (willingness to risk) to another based on communication and the confidence that the latter party will possess : benevolence, reliability, competence, integrity, openness, respect’ (Daly and Chrispeels 2008:33).
Zaheer, Mcevilyand Perrone (1998) separate interpersonal and interorganisational trust as two distinct constructs .
I propose an extension to the above construct by introducing the facet of ‘promise’ to the construct of trust: Promise to carry out expected role(s). This will allow reciprocity and the inclusion of non explicitly physical/personal relationships in trust analysis.
Objectives of current paper
Draw from the theories of speech act, pragmatics and discourse analysis to extend the analysis of trust to the non-physical /personal, thus exploring the facet of promise in the construct of trust
Use this construct to analyse a particular trust relationship between practitioners and policy/policy makers in the field of Skills for life
Trust, non-personal/physical relationships and promise
Main proposal: Behind the notion of trust in any relationship in a community of practice is the promise to fulfil a number of roles which is derived from the illocutionary force associated with the label/position of participants in the relationship. Labels/titles are to be seen as discursive acts.
The label manager projects both a perlocutionary outcome and an illocutionary (Speech act theory: Austin 1962, Searle 1969) promise to: be fair, supportive, act with integrity etc. Similarly, the label teacher projects an illocutionary promise to: promote teaching and learning, support learners, create resources etc. Policy projects a promise to deliver a particular situation for the betterment/otherwise of practitioners citizens.
What people trust in relationship therefore is not the person per se, but their perception of the ability of the persons involved to deliver promise inherent in their labels.
Drawing from the theories of discourse analysis of producer roles, (Thomas1986, Levinson 1988) I see trust as the degree to which one party perceives the reliability of another in delivering the promise behind the title/label
Dominance of leader / led model
CDA- some participants are seen as inherently more powerful than others by virtue of status, gender, ethnicity and / or institutional role (Fairclough 1992)
Notion of ‘regimes of truth’ –expectations (Focault 1980, Thornborrow 2002).
Powerful and powerless ways of speaking– Higher Labels / titles often more prominent and therefore attract reactions (Thornborrow 2002)
It is not the person alone, but the mediating (illocutionary) promise to deliver particular roles that constitutes the focus of trust
With this construct of trust, we can analyse trust between entities that are neither ‘personalised’ nor in physical contact.
Such a construct will enable us to explore the notion of trust for example between policy and practitioners, policy makers and practitioners and between organisations.
Attempting this is the next goal of this paper.
Description of current study
Designed to examine the issue of trust between policy/policy makers and practitioners in the SfL area and to identify the impact of trust/lack of trust on practitioners
Used questionnaires to explore the extent to which practitioners trust the policy they are meant to implement and therefore, the policy makers, the extent to which they trusted the policy in general to deliver its inherent promise, and the impact on them as practitioners.
SfL policies in this study seen as embodied in the recommendations of the Moser Committee (Moser 1999: A Fresh Start). Questions focused on 14 elements of the recommendations.
Participants /sample group: ‘A convenient sample’ (Kerr 2009) made of three cohorts of additional Diploma ex-trainees who are specialist teachers of literacy (Reachable but limited by the fact that they are localized in one region)
Total: 124 but attrition accounted for 48 leaving 76 respondents) Sufficient representation of views and data saturation.
Findings subjected to simple content analysis but will be followed up with focus group interviews.
Practitioners’ expectations/: GUIDANCE, ASSESSMENT AND PUBLICITY
Individuals with basic skills problems should be entitled to free confidential assessment, whether they are employed or unemployed
‘ High quality guidance and information on basic skills courses need to be freely available to all potential learners. Furthermore, to ensure that learners get on to appropriate courses, it is essential that, however they arrive there, they have had an assessment recording the skills with which they enter the programme’
Summary of expectations:
Flexibility to leverage resources to accommodate request.
Opportunity available at all times.
A well designed set of initial assessment tools that will allow variation in assessment.
PRACTITIONERS’ EXPECTATIONS: QUALITY
But we need not only enough provision, but provision of such good quality that it will lift peoples’ competence in a clear and demonstrable way, and be a positive attraction for students.
Four elements are essential for ensuring high quality: · clear, unambiguous national quality standards;· a well-defined curriculum; · a credible set of qualifications; · a new system of teacher training and inspection
Summary of expectations:
A recognition that quality also involves learners’ views rather than just management and regulatory body’s views.
.The evolution of qualifications that can get learners to progress to employments and higher level studies.
Preliminary findings: G, A &P
5 participants (5.2%) agreed that the implementation of policy has mostly met their expectations.
22 participants (29%) agreed that the implementation of policy has met their expectations to some extent.
49 participants (65.8%) felt that the implementation of policy has only met expectations to a limited extent.
No participant (0%) felt that their expectations have not been met at all.
Expectations fully met:
Standard initial assessment packages have been produced by BSA and available for anyone to use at all times’ (part 28)
Expectations met to some extent: ‘Information and trained staff are not always available due to lack of support from employers. There is also a lack of understanding of the sector’ (part. 14)
Expectations met to a limited extent: ’Again, although the assessment does happen, the programmes presented have more to do with availability and less to do with what is best for students. Also, the courses that students select do not reflect the level of assessment outcome’. (part 6)
Preliminary findings: Quality
10 participants (13.18%) agreed that the implementation of policy has mostly met their expectations.
24 participants (31.6 %) agreed that the implementation of policy has met their expectations to some extent.
42 participants (55.22 %) felt that the implementation of policy has only met expectations to a limited extent.
Expectations met fully: ‘The teacher training and inspection requirements have been enforced fully. I don’t think any practitioner will contest the value of the teacher training and inspection in their practice’ (part 24)
Expectations met to some extent: ‘While the teacher training and inspection aspects have clearly been enforced, I would differ with the introduction of ‘a credible set of qualification’ (part 30)
Expectations met to a limited extent: ‘Most of the quality procedures are geared towards control and record keeping rather than towards learning’ (part. 61)
Preliminary findings: trust overall
5 participants (6.5%) trust policy and policy makers to deliver their promises/meet their expectations fully.
19 participants (25%) trust policy and policy makers to deliver their policies/meet their expectations to some extent.
52 participants (69.5%) trust policy and policy makers to deliver their policies/meet their expectations only to a limited extent.
Impact of full/limited/ lack of trust
Full trust: Enthusiasm, Willingness to go to work, Creativity, Willingness to take responsibility.
Trust to some extent: Happy to follow, Cynicism, Limited level of creativity, Lack of independent contribution, Prepared for changes
Trust to a limited extent: Feeling used, Deception, Cynicism, Exploited, Bitter, Ashamed because unable to meet learners’ needs
Policy as a manifestation of of speech act (Illocutionary and perlocutionary facets to policy)