Corporatising the teacher: new professional identities in education

Year: 1999

Author: McWilliam, Erica, Hatcher, Caroline, Meadmore, Daphne

Type of paper: Refereed paper

In this paper, we examine the impact of corporate practice on schooling and on teachers' professional development at the end of the millennium. We argue that the production of new forms of knowledge is creating new sites of struggle over who owns educational knowledge, and this has profound implications for professional identity formation in all areas of social and economic endeavour, including education. As schools are re-shaped into corporations, school administrators and teachers are under increasing pressure to improve their productivity and to develop themselves as enterprising leaders and managers in a culture of performativity. To do so they are drawing more and more heavily on the growing non-academic literature of self-improvement and self-development. We express our concerns that such literature tends to value mindless optimism over radical doubt.