Under new management: changing conceptions of teacher professionalism and policy in the further education sector

Shain, Farzana and Gleeson, Denis. 1999. Under new management: changing conceptions of teacher professionalism and policy in the further education sector. Journal of Education Policy, 14(4), pp. 445-462. ISSN 0268-0939 [Article]

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This paper examines the impact of recent changes in the structure and funding of Further Education following the 1992 Further and Higher Education (FHE) Act, on conditions of academic work for lecturers in the sector. In doing so it contributes to a debate on FE lecturers’ work and professionalism in the managerial state (Clarke and Newman 1997) that has largely centred on schools. The paper assesses the impact of the shifting policy framework on FE lecturers’ working practices and their identities at the local level by drawing on preliminary analysis of data from an ongoing ESRC funded research project, Changing Teaching and Managerial Cultures in FE (CTMC), undertaken at Keele. It outlines three different lecturer responses to changing conditions of work in FE; these are resistance, compliance and strategic compliance. The narratives presented in the paper suggest that changes are occurring in terms of what counts as being a `good lecturer’ in FE, through mediation of managerialist discourses that emphasize flexibility, reliability and competence. Though there is evidence of some incorporation of lecturers into this discourse, it is by no means complete or uncontested. Rather, residual elements of `public sector’ or `old’ professionalism are drawn on and reworked by lecturers through their practice in highly managerial and competitive con- texts. This suggests patterns of deprofessionalization go hand in hand with patterns of professional reconstruction (Seddon 1997). The paper concludes with some tentative suggestions that strategic compliance may provide a basis for rethinking professionalism in the FE sector.

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Educational Studies



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10 Jul 2020 10:26

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09 Jun 2021 18:47

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