‘Advancing Professionalism in Teaching’? An exploration of the mobilisation of the concept of professionalism in the McCormac Report on the Review of Teacher Employment in Scotland

Aileen Kennedy, William Barlow, James MacGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Downloads (Pure)


The report of the recent review of teacher employment in Scotland, commonly known as ‘the McCormac Report’ was published in 2011.This article explores the conceptualisation of professionalism inherent in the Report. Using a critical discourse analysis approach we interrogate the text in relation to three key issues: professionalism; the notion of teacher ‘flexibility’; and the extent to which economic pressures have driven the direction of the Report. The analysis suggests that the dominant form of professionalism being employed in the Report is managerial, and that there is little evidence of alternative conceptions. We conclude that while there is no explicit definition of professionalism in the text of the Report, there is some evidence of the concept being mobilised as a form of control over teacher behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalScottish Educational Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • professionalism
  • critical discourse analysis
  • teacher education

Cite this