Author: Seddon, Terri
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
The generalised crisis of schooling has become focused as a crisis of teachers and teaching in many countries in recent years (Hill, 1990; Poppleton and Riseborough, 1990). The predominant debates have been about how to reform teachers as professionals and policy implementation, but this has entailed a further, often less explicit, debate about how best to understand teachers and teaching (eg. Holly, 1986; Demaine, 1988; Hargreaves, 1988). This conceptual debate centres on the nature of the `problem' of teachers and teaching, that is the basis from which policy and emerging reform strategies arise. In Australia most interventions can be seen as outgrowths of the international debates about teachers. They target teachers as individuals. But some interventions show a different lineage, converging with the teacher debate from a general concern with industry and award restructuring. The problem of teachers and teaching is seen as a problem of work. In this paper I map these recent developments in the Australian teacher debate and argue that interventions are being informed by conceptually contradictory individual and work problematics. I discuss the conceptual contradiction and examine its actual and potential implications for policy and research around teachers and teaching.