"Under pressure I fall back to being a teacher…" Confronting Contending Desires for Schooling and Teaching in a Middle School Reform Project

Yates, Lyn; Holt, Brenda
April 2009
Australian Educational Researcher (Australian Association for Re;Apr2009, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
This article examines a Victorian high school's implementation of a new Year 9 program which was intended to interrupt a traditional academic curriculum and to create an imagined oasis of care and personal development for students. It explores ways in which (1) the existing culture and context of the school continues to frame the subjectivities of teachers, students and parents in relation to the new program, (2) the attempt to preserve a competitive academic traditional orientation alongside an alternative approach is a central dilemma for this school, and (3) the new relationships between teachers and students are experienced by them as an interplay of pleasure and surveillance, connection and discipline. The article argues that the conflicts and pressures experienced by the teachers and students are not simply local and contingent ones but indicative of wider tensions in current Australian education policy.


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