Changing Scottish education policy definitions of what it means to be a teacher: fit for a diverse system?

Razzaq, J. and Patrick, F. (2014) Changing Scottish education policy definitions of what it means to be a teacher: fit for a diverse system? In: Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners, Glasgow, UK, 28 - 30 May 2014,

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As countries seek to secure their economic future, education has become increasingly central to socioeconomic strategy in the United Kingdom and beyond. As a result, there is increased governmental expectation and scrutiny of the learning outcomes achieved by pupils. Following from this, teaching quality has become a significant focus in a number of countries. As part of the quality agenda, career-long professional learning has become a major policy theme from which a range of approaches has been implemented in Scotland: increased entry qualifications, the development of professional standards, and emphasis on the ongoing professional development of teachers. Within these approaches can be identified a reconceptualisation of what it means to be a teacher. While there is some expression of values related to social justice, equality and inclusion in education policy, the actions to implement policy tend to centre on instrumental approaches to career-long development. The idea of 'career-long teacher education' is underpinned by an assumption of a stable and readily accepted understanding of what it means to be a teacher. However, as expectations of schools have intensified, education policy indicates significant changes in the construction of the ‘effective’ teacher within an overall reconstruction of the nature and trajectory of the teaching career. This paper draws from a comparative policy study project and traces the evolving and competing ideas of what it means to be a teacher evident in recent key reviews (McCrone 2000; Donaldson, 2010; McCormac, 2011). It pays particular attention to how these ideas have been translated into expectations for initial teacher education and beyond in the form of the Standards for Registration (GTCS, 2012) and the Standard for Career-Long Professional Learning (GTCS, 2012). The paper considers the implications of the policy and the standards for the construction of teacher identity in both an increasingly globalised educational policy context and a more diverse Scottish society. It sets out for discussion the question of whether or not policy definitions of what it means to be a teacher in Scotland today are fit for a diverse, globalised and inclusive education system.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:Professional learning; policy; collaboration; diversity.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Patrick, Dr Fiona and Razzaq, Dr Jamila
Authors: Razzaq, J., and Patrick, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors

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