The policy and politics of teachers’ initial learning: Netherlands, Norway and Australia

Year: 2018

Author: Hardy, Ian, Jakhelln, Rachel, Smit, Ben

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reveals the broader policy and political context of teachers’ initial learning within and across national and international contexts.  We reflect on how broader policies and associated policy artefacts within specific national contexts constitute teachers’ initial learning.  We argue that, collectively, these artefacts constitute key vehicles for flagging ‘what matters’ at the discursive level.  The paper also endeavours to set out, in broad terms, whether and how the broader neoliberal policy regime which is influencing educational practices in many parts of the world (Connell, 2013), including Anglo-American and European contexts, plays out in the form of current teacher learning policies.  We also seek to problematize more performative policy discourses by reflecting on how they contrast with more context-responsive, site (Schatzki, 2002), and practice-based (Nicolini, 2013) conceptions of professional learning.  Specifically, and following the work of Kemmis, Wilkinson, Edwards-Groves, Hardy, Grootenboer & Bristol (2014), we outline what we describe as a praxis-oriented approach to the policy and politics of teacher learning, and how such an approach contrasts with the forms of ‘transnational salience’ of ‘fast policy’ approaches (Peck & Theodore, 2015) that characterize more decontextualized approaches to policy making and ‘taking’ (enactment).  We outline what we understand by praxis, and how a more praxis-oriented approach can serve as a vehicle to contest more performative policy conditions having such a pervasive and problematic impact upon schooling practices within and across different national and sub-national contexts.
Connell, R. (2013). The neoliberal cascade and education: An essay on the market agenda and its consequences. Critical Studies in Education, 54(2) 99-112.
Kemmis, S., Wilkinson, J., Edwards-Groves, C., Hardy, I., Grootenboer, P., & Bristol, L. (2014). Changing practices, changing education. Singapore: Springer.
Nicolini, D. (2012). Practice theory, work and organization: An introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Peck, J., & Theodore, N. (2015) Fast policy: Experimental statecraft at the thresholds of neoliberalism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  
Schatzki, T. (2002). The site of the social: A philosophical account of the constitution of social life and change. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.