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The work of teaching

The work of teaching The industrial realities of teaching are documented in history, sociology and policy research: studies of the school as workplace, the tools of teaching, processes within the workplace, the changing composition of the teaching workforce, the gender politics of the occupation, teacher organisations, and change in teachers’ work and employment relations. Teaching as a form of work is difficult to pin down because it involves an unspecifiable object of labour, a limitless labour process, and is, in a sense, unteachable. Teaching is always transformative labour, bringing new social realities into existence; and is also fundamentally interactive, not individual. Teachers’ work is not social reproduction, but is creative and therefore a site of social struggle. This can be seen in education in colonial societies, and in the global transformation of the education of girls and women. Teachers are now caught up in the neoliberal agenda, often unwillingly ‐ but since neoliberalism transforms institutions in the public sector, unavoidably, and sometimes traumatically. In a long historical perspective, the modern teaching workforce is unique, and has the possibility of shaping the learning capacities of the whole society; this may now be uniquely important. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

The work of teaching

History of Education Review , Volume 38 (2): 8 – Oct 14, 2009

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/08198691200900009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The industrial realities of teaching are documented in history, sociology and policy research: studies of the school as workplace, the tools of teaching, processes within the workplace, the changing composition of the teaching workforce, the gender politics of the occupation, teacher organisations, and change in teachers’ work and employment relations. Teaching as a form of work is difficult to pin down because it involves an unspecifiable object of labour, a limitless labour process, and is, in a sense, unteachable. Teaching is always transformative labour, bringing new social realities into existence; and is also fundamentally interactive, not individual. Teachers’ work is not social reproduction, but is creative and therefore a site of social struggle. This can be seen in education in colonial societies, and in the global transformation of the education of girls and women. Teachers are now caught up in the neoliberal agenda, often unwillingly ‐ but since neoliberalism transforms institutions in the public sector, unavoidably, and sometimes traumatically. In a long historical perspective, the modern teaching workforce is unique, and has the possibility of shaping the learning capacities of the whole society; this may now be uniquely important.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 14, 2009

Keywords: Teachng; Teaching workforce; Education; Society

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