Teachers and public engagement: an argument for rethinking teacher professionalism to challenge deficit discourses in the public sphere

Susan Thomas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In the context of public debates on teacher quality, both media and education policy texts construct deficit discourses about teachers, discourses that work together to inform public, commonsense understandings of teacher quality. This paper explores the interrelationships between discourses on teachers constructed on television and in policies in the Australian policy context. Critical discourse analysis was employed to trace the links between the discourses on teachers constructed in a television situation comedy and discourses in the policy documents that inform the Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme. The paper demonstrates the interdiscursivity of media and policy discourses on teacher quality by analysing the ways that the television sitcom constructed a particular version of teachers within the quality policy context. The analysis highlights the need for teachers to challenge these deficit discourses. The paper concludes by arguing for a rethinking of teacher professionalism in ways that include active engagement in public debates on education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)371-382
    Number of pages12
    JournalDiscourse: Studies in The Cultural Politics of Education
    Volume32
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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