Presentation on theme: "T HE P ROFESSION ’ S M EMORY : H ISTORY OF E DUCATION, T EACHER T RAINING AND THE R ADICALITY OF THE P AST DANIEL O’NEILL LIVERPOOL COMMUNITY COLLEGE."— Presentation transcript:
T HE P ROFESSION ’ S M EMORY : H ISTORY OF E DUCATION, T EACHER T RAINING AND THE R ADICALITY OF THE P AST DANIEL O’NEILL LIVERPOOL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
A medieval baker with his apprentice. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Vincent notes that twenty- first teachers entering the profession have less of an introduction to the past of their pedagogy than ‘any cohort since formal training began two centuries ago’ (Vincent 2003: 419-420; McCulloch 2011: 100).
PERFORMATIVITY Value assessed by operational efficiency – determined by cost/benefit or input/output analyses.
However under modern capitalism – Lyotard argues - what needs to be taught are only the skills and knowledge that preserve and enhance society’s performativity. Knowledge, or education, is not thought to have any intrinsic worth, but instead is valued as a commodity which can be sold; it no longer posses ‘use-value’ but only ‘exchange value’ (Lyotard 1984a: 4-5) How do you determine operational efficiency? What is measurable becomes lauded over the good. The crude, basic and measurable used to assess a complex, intricate and contingent practice based upon human relationships.
The crude language of management creeps into educational institutions undermining the language of education. When asked to talk about education it is in the language of business terms – the language of inputs and outputs, of brands, of performance indicators and audits, of products and productivity, of educational customers and curriculum delivers rather than teachers.
A new corporate identity has been developed to represent the core beliefs of the College brand and our vision to realign with the strategic aims of the region and the needs of our customers.
Peter Coyote (1998:35; Freyman 2000: 80) ‘Part of the power and flexibility of our profit-orientated economy is that it can co-opt nearly everything. Everything but doing things for free’
Language of business and profitability does not fit education. Teachers are nearly always motivated by more than the basest of motives. Consistent failure of performance-related pay in teaching. Marsden, D. (2009) The Paradox of Performance Related Pay Systems: ‘Why Do We Keep Adopting Them in the Face of Evidence that they Fail to Motivate?’ Centre for Economic Performance, LSE
Smeyers, Smith and Standish (2007: 153-154) note the mechanistic, technical and managerial language spawned in British education. They argue that these new dominant languages of education show signs of strain because they fail to reflect our experiences as teachers and learners and, at worse, silence voices which seek to articulate teaching and learning in a fuller, richer, more sensitive manner.
Teaching often comes from a source that can not be captured in training documents or strictures, arising from the kind of conviction and certitudes that are dependent on proofs that are ‘informal and personal, which baffle our powers of analysis, and cannot be brought under logical rule’ (Newman 1887: 228).
C AMBRIDGE P RIMARY R EVIEW - C HILDREN, THEIR W ORLD, THEIR E DUCATION ‘centralisation, secrecy and the 'quiet authoritarianism' of the new centres of power; the disenfranchising of local voice; the rise of unelected and unaccountable groups and individuals taking key decisions behind closed doors: the 'empty rituals' of consultation; the replacement of professional dialogue by the mono-logic discourse of power; the politicisation of the entire educational enterprise so that it becomes impossible to debate ideas or evidence which are not deemed to be 'on message', or which are 'not invented here'; and, latterly coming to light, financial corruption.’ (Alexander 2009b: 481; quoted in Gillard 2011)
Gary McCulloch notes that New Labour’s emphasis on the ‘new professionalism’ within the teaching profession was combined with several initiatives to limit and constrain teacher’s professional freedoms. To be professional is not necessarily to exercise judgement in educational matters but show fidelity to the model of teaching and learning currently favoured by Whitehall.
Richard Rorty talks of a profound practical-moral obligation to defend the openness of human conversation against all those temptations and real threats that seek closure. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature ( 1979:359).
When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago. Psychotherapist Irving Yalom attributes to Nietzsche in Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death (2008:96)
….dialectic is nothing but the art of conducting a conversation and especially of revealing the mistakes in one’s opinions through the process of questioning and yet further questioning. Here, then, the dialectic is negative; it confuses one’s opinions. But this kind of confusion means at the same time a clarification, for it opens one’s eyes to the thing’ Hans-Georg Gadamer Truth and Method (1975: 464 )
There can be no more liberating influence than the knowledge that things have not always been so, and need not remain as they are. Brian Simon The History of Education (1966:109)