Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Bourke, T., Lidstone, J., Ryan, M.
Schooling Teachers: Professionalism or disciplinary power?
(2015) Educational Philosophy and Theory, 47 (1), pp. 84-100.

DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2013.839374


Since public schooling was introduced in the nineteenth century, teachers in many western countries have endeavoured to achieve professional recognition. For a short period in the latter part of the twentieth century, professionalism was seen as a discourse of resistance or the ‘enemy’ of economic rationalism and performativity. However, more recently, governments have responded by ‘colonizing’ professionalism and imposing ‘standards’ whereby the concept is redefined. In this study, we analyse transcripts of interviews with 20 Queensland teachers and conclude that teachers’ notions of professionalism in this second decade of the twenty-first century are effectively reiterations of nineteenth century disciplinary technologies (as proposed by Michel Foucault) yet are enacted in new ways.

Author Keywords

disciplinary power; Foucault; professionalism; teachers

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