ERIC Number: EJ883673
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 107
Troubling the Discourse of Teacher Centrality: A Comparative Perspective
Larsen, Marianne A.
Journal of Education Policy, v25 n2 p207-231 Mar 2010
The belief in the central role of the teacher has a long and comparative history. This article aims to critically analyse the discourse of the centrality of the teacher by both historicising and problematising the ideas and practices associated with this discourse. First, the article describes the discourse as it was taken up during the twenty-first century when the teacher was viewed as the linchpin to building universal education systems. The idea that the "master makes the school" is examined and the policies that stemmed from this thinking (e.g., the establishment of formal teacher training, teacher testing and certification) are outlined. The contemporary manifestations of this discourse are then described to show how the pervasive belief in the central role of the teacher has influenced education policy reforms, which like teacher policy reforms in the nineteenth century operate to shape and regulate the profession. Further discursive effects are analysed including the de-contextualisation of educational reform and the de-professionalisation and de-politicisation of teachers and their work. The relationship between effective schools research and the centrality of the teacher discourse is also considered within the contemporary moment. This comparative study refers to the discourse of the centrality of the teacher in Australasia, Europe, Great Britain and North America, and suggests that our collective focus on the teacher has had some serious, unexpected effects on teachers and the work they do.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Teacher Role, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Competency Testing, Social Change, Criticism, Discourse Analysis, Educational Policy, Comparative Analysis, Effective Schools Research, Educational Change, Context Effect, Educational Quality
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America; United Kingdom (Great Britain)