Locating post-16 professionalism: public spaces as dissenting spaces

Dennis, Carol Azumah (2015). Locating post-16 professionalism: public spaces as dissenting spaces. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 20(1) pp. 64–77.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2015.993875


Locating post-16 professionalism explores the ways in which teachers in the UK and the USA engaged in digitally mediated communication incidentally narrate their professional selves during extended exchanges about the process of post-qualification registration. Drawing on a theoretical framework derived from participatory democracy, the study is mindful of how citizens in public spaces express support or opposition to government policies. During their extended and intense discussion, the teachers involved discuss who legitimately defines and what justifiably bestows professional status. The paper is intent on questioning the location of professionalism rather than its definition. This spatial dimension is central to the argument that unfolds. Teacher professionalism is most frequently positioned within the classroom; a space that was once conceived as offering scope for strategic compliance. More recently, the classroom has become conceptualised as a diminutive space enabling of little more than teacher survival through tactical resistance. My argument is that teacher professionalism may also be located in other spaces, spaces that allow teachers to transcend the scripted pedagogies of the classroom. In these other spaces, teacher professionalism is located within open critique, defiance and dissent, which allow teachers to extend their pedagogic focus and explore dimensions of professionalism that matter to them: what it means, how and by whom it is conferred.

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