Power, influence and ideology: a poststructural analysis of CPD policy for teachers in Scotland

Aileen Kennedy

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

Continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers is a topical issue in Scotland, and beyond, where recent policy developments have pointed towards the desirability of more structured approaches to post-initial teacher education. In the period between the Sutherland Report into teacher education in Scotland (Sutherland, 1997) and the completion of this study in 2005, Scotland has seen the introduction of a CPD framework. While aspects of the framework have been evaluated in terms of the success of their implementation, there has been no real analysis of the policy as a whole, or of the policy development process. This study therefore sought to investigate and articulate issues of power, influence and ideology in the development of CPD policy in Scotland.

A poststructuralist approach has been adopted in an attempt to take the analysis beyond issues of content and implementation, to explore the underpinning philosophies and the power relationships that have contributed to the current policy position. This approach has involved the critical discourse analysis of a range of publicly available documents as well as the analysis of interviews with sixteen of the educational elite in Scotland.

The study deduces that despite the existence of some rhetoric to the contrary, the dominant discourse in Scottish education reflects a managerial conception of professionalism and a social efficiency conception of teaching. The power of this discourse, with its emphasis on targets, efficiency, competence and compliance, has served to limit the need for teachers and other stakeholders to conceive of alternative conceptions of teaching. This discourse is contrasted with a more democratic conception, in which CPD has the power to support transformative practice.

It is concluded that CPD policy provides a powerful channel through which particular conceptions of professionalism and of teaching are promoted, and that this discourse needs to be more effectively interrogated and challenged.

LanguageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Christie, Donald, Supervisor
  • Humes, Walter, Supervisor, External person
  • Bryce, Thomas, Supervisor
Award date22 Jun 2006
Publisher
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006

Fingerprint

development policy
ideology
planning of teaching
teacher
discourse
efficiency
education
discourse analysis
rhetoric
elite
stakeholder
Teaching
interview
professionalism

Keywords

  • CPD
  • continual professional development
  • teachers
  • teaching
  • learning
  • education

Cite this

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title = "Power, influence and ideology: a poststructural analysis of CPD policy for teachers in Scotland",
abstract = "Continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers is a topical issue in Scotland, and beyond, where recent policy developments have pointed towards the desirability of more structured approaches to post-initial teacher education. In the period between the Sutherland Report into teacher education in Scotland (Sutherland, 1997) and the completion of this study in 2005, Scotland has seen the introduction of a CPD framework. While aspects of the framework have been evaluated in terms of the success of their implementation, there has been no real analysis of the policy as a whole, or of the policy development process. This study therefore sought to investigate and articulate issues of power, influence and ideology in the development of CPD policy in Scotland. A poststructuralist approach has been adopted in an attempt to take the analysis beyond issues of content and implementation, to explore the underpinning philosophies and the power relationships that have contributed to the current policy position. This approach has involved the critical discourse analysis of a range of publicly available documents as well as the analysis of interviews with sixteen of the educational elite in Scotland. The study deduces that despite the existence of some rhetoric to the contrary, the dominant discourse in Scottish education reflects a managerial conception of professionalism and a social efficiency conception of teaching. The power of this discourse, with its emphasis on targets, efficiency, competence and compliance, has served to limit the need for teachers and other stakeholders to conceive of alternative conceptions of teaching. This discourse is contrasted with a more democratic conception, in which CPD has the power to support transformative practice. It is concluded that CPD policy provides a powerful channel through which particular conceptions of professionalism and of teaching are promoted, and that this discourse needs to be more effectively interrogated and challenged.",
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Power, influence and ideology : a poststructural analysis of CPD policy for teachers in Scotland . / Kennedy, Aileen.

University of Strathclyde, 2006. 288 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

TY - THES

T1 - Power, influence and ideology

T2 - a poststructural analysis of CPD policy for teachers in Scotland

AU - Kennedy, Aileen

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers is a topical issue in Scotland, and beyond, where recent policy developments have pointed towards the desirability of more structured approaches to post-initial teacher education. In the period between the Sutherland Report into teacher education in Scotland (Sutherland, 1997) and the completion of this study in 2005, Scotland has seen the introduction of a CPD framework. While aspects of the framework have been evaluated in terms of the success of their implementation, there has been no real analysis of the policy as a whole, or of the policy development process. This study therefore sought to investigate and articulate issues of power, influence and ideology in the development of CPD policy in Scotland. A poststructuralist approach has been adopted in an attempt to take the analysis beyond issues of content and implementation, to explore the underpinning philosophies and the power relationships that have contributed to the current policy position. This approach has involved the critical discourse analysis of a range of publicly available documents as well as the analysis of interviews with sixteen of the educational elite in Scotland. The study deduces that despite the existence of some rhetoric to the contrary, the dominant discourse in Scottish education reflects a managerial conception of professionalism and a social efficiency conception of teaching. The power of this discourse, with its emphasis on targets, efficiency, competence and compliance, has served to limit the need for teachers and other stakeholders to conceive of alternative conceptions of teaching. This discourse is contrasted with a more democratic conception, in which CPD has the power to support transformative practice. It is concluded that CPD policy provides a powerful channel through which particular conceptions of professionalism and of teaching are promoted, and that this discourse needs to be more effectively interrogated and challenged.

AB - Continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers is a topical issue in Scotland, and beyond, where recent policy developments have pointed towards the desirability of more structured approaches to post-initial teacher education. In the period between the Sutherland Report into teacher education in Scotland (Sutherland, 1997) and the completion of this study in 2005, Scotland has seen the introduction of a CPD framework. While aspects of the framework have been evaluated in terms of the success of their implementation, there has been no real analysis of the policy as a whole, or of the policy development process. This study therefore sought to investigate and articulate issues of power, influence and ideology in the development of CPD policy in Scotland. A poststructuralist approach has been adopted in an attempt to take the analysis beyond issues of content and implementation, to explore the underpinning philosophies and the power relationships that have contributed to the current policy position. This approach has involved the critical discourse analysis of a range of publicly available documents as well as the analysis of interviews with sixteen of the educational elite in Scotland. The study deduces that despite the existence of some rhetoric to the contrary, the dominant discourse in Scottish education reflects a managerial conception of professionalism and a social efficiency conception of teaching. The power of this discourse, with its emphasis on targets, efficiency, competence and compliance, has served to limit the need for teachers and other stakeholders to conceive of alternative conceptions of teaching. This discourse is contrasted with a more democratic conception, in which CPD has the power to support transformative practice. It is concluded that CPD policy provides a powerful channel through which particular conceptions of professionalism and of teaching are promoted, and that this discourse needs to be more effectively interrogated and challenged.

KW - CPD

KW - continual professional development

KW - teachers

KW - teaching

KW - learning

KW - education

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

PB - University of Strathclyde

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