Schools and professionals respond to statute in different ways. However, professional activity is more than mediated response to policy. Versions of pedagogy are not simply envisaged on high and enacted in the workplace. This paper examines how professional views formulate policy imperatives. It proposes that to understand pedagogy requires an understanding of the ways in which professional selves are realised in relation to the policy formation process. To do this, positioning theory is used to describe how practice produces policy. Accordingly, the paper examines the dynamic interplay between: first, the story lines unfolding within and outside school; second, the positions adopted by individuals in the course of pedagogic decision-making. Third, the illocutionary (that achieved in saying something) and perlocutionary (that achieved by saying something) effects of language. Following this ‘positioning triad’, the paper proposes ‘pedagogy as ritual’ and ‘pedagogy as mindfulness’ and how these are representative, respectively, of limiting and delimiting pedagogic discourses.
- positioning theory