Teacher Professionalism in a Privatised World: Time to Reclaim Teaching?
TEACHER PROFESSIONALISM IN A PRIVATISED WORLD: TIME TO RECLAIM TEACHING? UNIVERSITY OF STAFFORDSHIRE 10TH JANUARY 2013. Howard Stevenson University of Lincoln email@example.com #reclaimteaching
The battle of ideas . . .When a professional student of social affairs writes a politicalbook, his first duty is to plainly say so. This is a political book. Ido not wish to disguise this by describing it, as I might perhapshave done, by the more elegant and ambitious name of anessay in social philosophy. But, whatever the name, theessential point remains that all I have to say is derived fromcertain ultimate values. I hope I have adequately discharged inthe book itself a second and no less important duty: to make itclear beyond doubt what these ultimate values are on whichthe whole argument depends.I have come to regard the writing of this book as a duty I mustnot evade. F A Hayek, (1944) Preface to The Road to Serfdom
It’s a revolution . . .And it is happening right now, right beneathour feet.Local Authority Officer, Interview, July 2012
Traditional NewProfessionalism Professionalism Anti- ProgressiveProfessionalism Professionalism
The war on welfare . . . . . . and the battle of ideasIn contrast to the economic process, it is afundamental principle of the welfare state that themarket value of an individual cannot be themeasure of his [sic] right to welfare. The centralfunction of welfare, in fact, is to supersede themarket by taking goods and services out of it, or insome way to control and modify its operations soas to produce a result that it would not haveproduced itself.(Marshall 1981: 107, original 1950)
Post-war partnership and the social democratic settlement Central Local State Government Teachers & Teacher Unions‘a national system . . .locally administered.’
I have heard it said that the existence in thiscountry of 146 strong vigorous LEAs safeguardsdemocracy and lessens the risk of dictatorship. Nodoubt this is true but an even greater safeguard isthe existence of a quarter of a million teacherswho are free to decide what should be taught andhow it should be taught.(Ron Gould, NUT General Secretary, 1954) This quote and from The Schoolmaster in Gerald Grace, ‘Teachers and the State in Britain: A Changing Relation’, in Teachers: The Culture and Politics of Work, ed. M. Lawn and G. Grace (Lewes, UK: Falmer Press, 1987)
Post-war Partnership- the basis of the settlement• Professional Issues – Curriculum Professional – Pedagogy Autonomy ‘the golden age of teacher (non)-control of the curriculum’ – Lawton (1980:22)• Industrial Issues – Pay Collective Bargaining – Conditions of service
Professionalism and professional autonomyThe freedom of teachers in their classrooms is astrongly held professional value in England and Wales.It has always been a source of pride to the professionand a very proper one, that in this country the teacherhas the inalienable right to decide what toteach and how to teach it.The Schoolmaster (1960)
Traditional professionalism . . . • Professional autonomy • Professional knowledge and expertise • Commitment to professional learning • Education of the profession by the profession • Self-regulating • ‘Trust’ • Commitment to public service Many useful sources – see Johnson (1972), Larson (1977).
Anti-professionalism . . . ?Teachers, administrators and union officials are nodifferent from the rest of us. They may be parents, too,sincerely desiring a fine school system. However, theirinterests as teachers, as administrators, and unionofficials are different from their interests as parentswhose children they teach. Their interests may be servedby greater centralization and bureaucratization even ifthe interests of the parents are not – indeed, one way inwhich those interests are served is precisely by reducingthe power of parents.Friedman and Friedman (1980: 147)
New Right critique and the attack on ‘producer capture’Education has proved easier for the producers (teacherand administrators) to capture than other industries,partly because its shortcomings can be disguised byjargon. The school with poor examination results canclaim that knowledgeable educationalists nowadayshold ‘school spirit’ or ‘awareness’ more important.Although the consumers (parents and children) demandexamination passes and other measureableachievements from their schools, education producersare able to argue that they, as ‘professionals’, knowbetter . . . .Adam Smith Institute Omega Report (1980) (see also Black Papers)
New Right critique, ‘producer capture’ and andthe creation of the educational marketplace1988 – Education Reform Act National Curriculum, standardised testing, Local Management of Schools, opting-out, league tables…a subtle set of linked measures are to be relied on tohave the desired effect – that is to push the wholesystem towards a degree at least, of privatisation,establishing a base which could be further exploitedlater.Simon (1987:13) See also Stevenson (2011) and Guardian (2012)
New Right critique, ‘producer capture’ and the new (scientific) managerialism1. Identification of the ‘one best way’ through scientific analysis and design of work • Work as ‘laws, rules, and even . . .mathematical formulae.’ (Taylor 1947: 90)2. Identification features of the ideal worker – based on approach as per (1) above3. Locate ideal worker (1) and match to scientifically designed task (2) - recruitment and division of labour4. Link pay to productivity – reward and control
New Labour and new professionalism . . . . . . more markets and managerialism • Focus on ‘the core task of teaching and learning’ • New accountability regimes – Professional Standards – Performance Management – Performance Pay • Focus on CPD • Social Partnership Stevenson et al. 2007
One teacher’s story . . .The story of an outstanding/verygood/good/satisfactory [delete as appropriate]teacher . . . in her own wordsSource: research interview 2007 (reported in Carter et al. (2010)
On workforce reform . . . If I talk about how my job has got easier in the various ways. Yes, I have more non-contacts. This year I have more non-contacts than I did last year. I had 8 non- contacts - I have more this year. But how do you use them? If I take my role as a subject leader, what am I supposed to do in those non-contacts? In those non- contacts I’m supposed to be doing the scrutiny of work, I’m supposed to be doing lesson observation, also there’s my own work to do. So although it looks like I have more, each one is quite full.
On leading and managing . . . Leading and managing are two totally different things and also the nature of my job is, I mean I’m much better on statistics now and data than I ever was, that’s another thing that I had to teach myself to do. It particularly comes into Performance Management, you know, value added. So prior to it, I work it all out for them [staff] and talk about where their value added is and the positive and the negative and you have to be confident when you’re talking to them, but also make them feel at ease with what they’re doing - you just manage it in an hour.
Now that’s because they [staff] know that they’re being measuredby it . . .it’s that data that might be whether they go through [payprogression] or not. They’re not easy conversations or hours tohave with people. . .Their careers, their livelihood, but most importantly the moneythat they earn, could be down to you and I didn’t go into it withthat. I’m not personnel trained as far as that is concerned.it’s up to you whether they [staff] go on to the next [pay] threshold. . . it’s a pay thing and . . . you have these conversations withpeople which are about their targets and the first objective is‘what target you’re going to set’. People are obviously upsetbecause their statistics are affected by the students who are there.
On the students . . . And you’re looking at the whole child and it’s all about building that relationship which has been the ethos of [this] school. Which is very hard to do when I’m also expected to be as a core Head of English to be able to be looking at data, moving the department forward, the school is measured on the English and Maths scores. So I would actually say no, I’m a satisfactory tutor. I think I’ve gone from being a good tutor to a satisfactory one.
Now there are demands put on you about teaching yoursubject. But my personal feeling is to be a good teacher youhave to have a relationship with these children and, andthey want it. They need it. I mean they don’t have to like youbut you have to have the respect, you have to have the timeto build the relationships with them.. . . but maybe we don’t have the time to build thoserelationships because statistics say, data says, target says,the child becomes a number that you have to teach.it’s all about the statistics, their data, their targets as opposed tobuilding the relationship with the child.’. . . You need to be a good teacher, then it is not just thenumber, it’s the whole child. But you have to juggle it.
You have relationships with people in your tutor groupand then you may teach them and there’s nothingbetter than a tutor group and then you teach thatperson in your tutor group. That’s a double whammy,that’s great.My role every week is to make contact, apart from thatjust calling their name, about something, knowingwhat’s going on because that’s how you move studentson, to make every single one of them feel that someonenotices them.
I had an issue - this is an example of an issue. I had someYear 10 and 11 girls, make up, clothes, all of this, so I dealtwith it and I took them to one side to speak to them intutor time on the Thursday. And they reacted very, verybadly to what I said and all sorts of things. And I was quitehurt by it. So what came out? I saw the parents - theirresponse was ‘They don’t feel you care about them anymore. You’re not there for them any more’. And sorelationships that I had built up, I’m not able to build themup in the same way. And I’m not saying that they dislikethe person who takes them for tutor time but they actuallydon’t feel comfortable because the nature of it is you builda long relationship with these students and I, I know that’sgone.
On herself . . . I know if you had to grade me, as we do grade each other now, I think I’m a, a good subject leader and that has to be rated on the fact of the percentages. The school might say I’m very good - the Ofsted report said it’s ‘outstanding’, the leadership, but to do that how can I be a tutor? How can I give all that my tutor group requires?
The Coalition narrative . . . the ‘enemies of promise’.This White Paper signals a radical reformof our schools. We have no choice but tobe this radical if our ambition is to beworld-class. The most successfulcountries already combine a high statusteaching profession; high levels ofautonomy for schools; a comprehensiveand effective accountability system and astrong sense of aspiration for all children,whatever their background. Tweakingthings at the margins is not an option.Reforms on this scale are absolutelyessential if our children are to get theeducation they deserve.Foreword pp4-5 Download it here
You cant have room for innovation and the pressurefor excellence without having some real disciplineand some fear on the part of the providers that thingsmay go wrong if they dont live up to the aims thatsociety as a whole is demanding of them.Oliver LetwinSpeaking at KPMG headquarters, 2011
One school federation’s story . . . Read the full story here
Michael Gove goes to war . . .We know we are making progress when we hear theopposition from vested interests - from those in trade unionswho put adults interests before children’s, from those in localgovernment who put protecting their power before fulfillingchildrens potential, from those who have acquiesced in aculture of low expectations who resist any form ofaccountability for failure.Michael Gove, 10th May 2012, Brighton College.
The war on teachers and their unions . . . • DfE dismissal of ‘dialogue arrangements’ • Abolition of national pay scales (achieved through STRB) and announcement of ‘war footing’ at DfE. • Encouraging headteachers to confront teachers engaged in ‘work to contract’ industrial action • Continual denigration of teacher unions and active encouragement of anti-union alternatives
Good teaching is . . . Business Capital Model: Professional Capital Model: • Emotionally demanding but • Technically sophisticated and technically simple difficult • Requires only moderate • Requires high levels of intellectual ability education and long periods of • Hard at first, but easily training mastered • Perfected through continuous • Driven by data about ‘what improvement works’ • Based on wise judgement, • Due to enthusiasm, raw talent, informed by evidence and hard work experience • Often replaceable by online • Reflects collective effort and instruction achievement • Maximises, mediates and moderates online instruction Adapted from Hargreaves and Fullan (2012:14)
Progressive professionalism– a professionalism worth fighting for . . . • Values-led – moral purpose and social justice • Research informed and research engaged • Collaborative and collective • Democratic and public • Independent and activist • Within, and beyond, the classroom Reclaiming teaching . . .
Presented and discussed previously at:• University of Glasgow, Scotland, Teacher Education Teachers’ Work Conference, 8th June 2012.• University of Leicester, England, 30th June 2012.• Mayo Education Centre, Republic of Ireland, 9th July 2012.• University of Lincoln, England, 23rd July 2012.This presentation available at:• http://www.slideshare.net/howardstevensonKeep discussing at:• @twitter #reclaimteaching• www.howardstevenson.org