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Reconceptualising teacher standards: Authentic, critical and creative

Down, B. (2012) Reconceptualising teacher standards: Authentic, critical and creative. In: Down, B. and Smyth, J., (eds.) Critical Voices in Teacher Education. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 63-80.

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It is hard to disagree with the prevailing view that high standards are absolutely essential in schools and teacher education faculties. After all, who would oppose rigorous standards? In this chapter, the argument is not about whether standards in education are desirable or not but rather the problematic nature of top-down, technical, reductionist, decontextualised and depoliticised versions that are doing the rounds at the moment. This chapter adopts a critical perspective to ask a set of more ‘troubling’ questions about the relevance and impact of standards-based reforms within the context of the neoliberal agenda for education for instance, Who benefits from setting standards? Whose voice is taken into account when the standards are formulated? Are we creating new inequalities by advocating standards? (Janesick, 2001) A central argument put forward here is that neoliberal accountability and standards systems serve to undermine teaching as an ethical and socially just practice by creating greater inequalities and disempowering teachers. The chapter concludes by indentifying some ways in which teachers might advance a more authentic, critical and creative approach to the National Professional Standards for Teachers document.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: 2012 Springer Science+Business Media
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