How do teachers make sense of performance management? Constructing professional knowledge through narrative

Year: 1997

Author: Hogan, Carol, Down, Barry, Chadbourne, Rod

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The professional world of teaching seems to be characterised by a large and increasing gulf between the official representation of that world and its "reality" as experienced by teachers in their daily lives.

Attempts to make schools and teachers more accountable for what happens to the education dollar have resulted in a proliferation of measures such as Outcome Statements, Performance Indicators, Competency Frameworks, Monitoring Standards, School Development Plans and much more. The result of these pressures has been the generation of an enormous amount of written information about children, teachers and schools, representing countless hours of work by thousands of teachers and administrators across the country. How complete or truthful is this representation of school life? In searching for answers this paper draws on the personnal stories of classroom teachers to understand how they construct their own professional knowledge about performance management. Specifically, it examines how teachers feel, make sense of, use, avoid and adapt performance management in their daily work. We are especially interested in the implications of these stories for professional development and school reform processess.