Critical Politics of Teachers' Work

An Australian Perspective

by John Smyth (Author)
©2001 Textbook XIV, 302 Pages
Series: Counterpoints, Volume 138


This book is about the damage that has been systematically inflicted upon teachers’ work globally over the past two or more decades. It chronicles and traces the major policy maneuvers in what can only be described as «difficult times». The effects are not hard to see in the language of the new technologies of power: competencies, vocationalization of the curriculum, appraisal, testing, accountability, restructuring, enterprise culture, and self-management, as well as through the cooption of progressive categories like collegiality, teacher development, and other reflective approaches to teaching. While these discourses mark out the oppressive contours of teaching there still exists considerable space to imagine and live out alternative discourses and practices. The way out of the miasma, it is argued, is to robustly confront and vigorously supplant dominant managerialist discourses with agenda and practices that are more democratic, educative, and socially just.


XIV, 302
ISBN (Softcover)
accountability damage vocationalization curriculum self-management
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2001. XIV, 302 pp.

Biographical notes

John Smyth (Author)

The Author: John Smyth is Foundation Professor of Teacher Education and Associate Dean (Research) at the Flinders University of South Australia and Director of the Flinders Institute for the Study of Teaching. He received his Ph.D. in education from the University of Alberta. He has held a Senior Fulbright Research Award and the Palmer O. Johnson Award for the most outstanding piece of published research by the American Educational Research Association. He is the author/editor of thirteen books, the most recent including: Remaking Teaching: Ideology, Policy and Practice (with Shacklock); Schooling for a Fair Go (with Hattam and Lawson); and Teachers’ Work in a Globalising Economy (with Dow, Hattam, Shacklock, and Reid).


Title: Critical Politics of Teachers' Work