Of myths and management
DOI link for Of myths and management
Of myths and management book
Concern that welfare services have been ‘captured’ by professionals to serve their own interests has motivated an interest in reform across the political spectrum, and has led to a questioning of the role of public service professionals both north and south of the border (Munn 1993). The new governance of education, with its emphasis on quasi-market concerns such as value for money, competition and consumer responsiveness, may be offering a new role to education professionals. This chapter draws on research evidence to investigate classroom teachers’ changing position as employees in the education system. It critically examines changes in the labour process and in the relationships between teachers, with teacher and head teacher interviews forming the empirical basis of the account. Comparisons are drawn between the evidence from Scottish data, and that from research in England. For reasons of space, only the most salient of the local authority-level differences are highlighted. Overall, the argument that teachers were being ‘deskilled’ and their work ‘intensified’ is contrasted with the more complex world that emerges from the empirical data about the way that professional values mediated the pressures of devolved management. It is argued that a mythological ‘other’, who challenged their philosophy of education, was constructed by the teachers in their accounts of educational change. This was then used both to affirm a particular professional orientation and to create a sense of community between colleagues who work independently for much of the time.