Re-searching the 'Junior Secondary Review' for Images of Primary, Secondary and Middle School Teachers

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The 'Report of the Junior Secondary Review' (JSR) has been a catalyst for the growth of middle schooling in South Australia and has informed reports in other states since its publication in 1992. This paper identifies gendered discourses which underpin the images of primary, secondary and middle school teachers as they are portrayed in the JSR and considers some implications for the occupation. It argues that the perspectives canvassed in this report disenfranchise primary and secondary teachers, men and women, and are likely to contribute to further divisions within the occupation.

Although the JSR proposes that middle school teachers must transcend existing primary and secondary cultures to cater for the education of young adolescents it could be that efforts to introduce middle schooling will entrench gendered assumptions about teachers and students, and uphold gendered divisions of labour. Given that the South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability frameworks are about to institutionalise the 'Middle Years' as a discrete band of schooling, it is timely to re-search the discourses about the primary, secondary and middle school teachers who will be charged with the task of curriculum implementation.