Perfornativities' and 'fabrications' in performance management

Year: 2001

Author: Naidu, Shamalin

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper draws on doctoral work underway into the analysis of teachers' voices in recent South Australian initiatives in teacher evaluation. The implementation of a new Performance Management policy is currently one of the major educational reforms introduced to the public sector workforce in South Australia. Performance Management clearly illustrates an attempt by the State to control the work of teachers. The underlying philosophy of Performance Management is to make teachers more efficient, more effective and more accountable. The paper will critically scrutinise this bureaucratic process and amplify the voices of those being controlled. The research data will reveal that Performance Management is simply a means control over teachers' work however that control is now more subtle and exerted through the discursive construction of subjectivity. The paper will start out by locating Performance Management in a broader social and political context and consider whose interests are being served. Secondly, it will consider a similar study of Performance Management undertaken in Western Australia, and discuss its implications for South Australia. And finally, the paper will highlight first-hand accounts of how teachers employ defence mechanisms ('performativities and fabrications') in order to resist evaluation as a form of bureaucratic and ideological control.