Institutional embrace and the postmodern professional

Jeffrey, Bob and Troman, Geoff (2010). Institutional embrace and the postmodern professional. In: European Conference of Educational Research, 25-28 Aug 2010, Helsinki.


The post-modern teacher is one that has been fashioned over the last 20 year. S/he belongs to a 'greedy institution' in which teachers embrace its values and reproduce them as well as adding value by contributing to a continuous reinvention of it. Their professional identity is now one that is isomorphic with the school, one in which status and professional expertise are bound up with the image of the institution in the glo-na-cal environment of global, national and local. Web sites proclaim the character of the school but also celebrate their local status while national league tables pin point their level of achievement locally and nationally. Their global responsibility is mirrored in their commitment to raising achievement for the labour market and the national economy.

The post-modern professional teacher is now a total teacher taking on everything and anything that policy demands as well as their own interests and values, for example contrasting performative and creative pedagogies. The commitment of the postmodern professional has been gained through the development of team work and collaboration, the necessity to improve performative targets and the survival of their institution in a market orientated environment. Economic imperatives drive education policy and they now include creative and entrepreneurialist market approaches, team cultures and a discourse of performativity. The Total Teacher has to ensure the raising of achievement by reaching targets based on external testing, support the institution in maintaining its market position and status, use team strategies and develop creative learners. This paper examines the life of the total professional who plays a major role in the development of the embracing institution.

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