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Regulatory Discourses in Education

A Lacanian perspective

Tony Brown, Dennis Atkinson and Janice England

This book employs Lacanian psychoanalysis to develop new ways of understanding educational domains. It analyses events, practices and policies that occur in school classrooms, teacher education and higher-degree studies including educational research. It provides an accessible introduction, description and analysis of those aspects of Lacan’s work concerned with language, identity and subjectivity directly relevant to the field of education.
Regulative discourses and practices in education are a central concern and the authors demonstrate how Lacanian theory empowers our understanding of how such discourses are instrumental in forming teacher and researcher identities. The book also shows how regulatory practices and discourses are relevant to research methodologies that arise in the field of action research in education.


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Part Two Identity Formation in Initial Teacher Education 59


Part Two Identity Formation in Initial Teacher Education In Part Two we begin to explore notions of subjectivity and identity in teacher education, more specifically, in relation to how student teachers begin to conceive their task of learning how to teach in England. We show how Lacanian psychoanalytic theory helps to shed light on this learning process that can often be quite stressful for many student teachers. In particular we illustrate how Lacanian theory can facilitate an interrogation of regulatory practices and discourses that constitute teacher training. Whilst Foucault’s work on power and resistance describes the ‘subject of discourse’, that is to say, how individuals become subjects through discursive interpellation within specific social sites, Lacan’s three registers of the Imaginary, Symbolic and Real provide a theoretical framework within which we can give consideration to non- discursive processes that are crucial to subjectivity and identity. Thus the chapters that form Part Two take as their focus: early developments of pedagogised identities by student teachers, the development of professional identities in student teacher and professional tutor relations, assessment in teacher training and the production of new teacher identities, identification of teaching and learning identities and teacher identification in mathematics teacher training. Chapter Four How Student Teachers Form their Identities in Initial Teacher Education Introduction The aim of this chapter is to consider theoretical frameworks that allow some purchase upon student teachers’ narratives in which they discuss issues that confront them as they learn to teach. We argue that reflective, reflexive and critical...

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