Foucault News

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

Farrell, F., Lander, V.
“We’re not British values teachers are we?”: Muslim teachers’ subjectivity and the governmentality of unease
(2018) Educational Review, pp. 1-17. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2018.1438369

This paper is a critical investigation of a group of eight Muslim religious education (RE) teachers’ views of fundamental British values in education (FBV). Findings demonstrate that as teachers of multicultural RE, they experience dissonance accommodating the requirements of FBV, and are critical of its divisive effects upon their students. They are able to reclaim some professional agency through their problematisation of FBV and reinterpretation of its requirements through the pluralistic discourse of RE. Drawing from Foucault’s analysis of power, we argue that the teachers’ views reveal that FBV is a disciplinary discourse, acting upon teacher and student bodies as a classificatory and social sorting instrument, which we conceptualise as an expression of the “governmentality of unease”. We conclude that further empirical research is required to critically examine how teachers are enacting this policy to assess how FBV continues to shape the education environment and the student and teacher subjects of its discourse. © 2018 Educational Review

Author Keywords
Foucault; Fundamental British values; governmentality; Muslim teachers; religious education; subjectivity

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