Politics, Professionals and Practitioners

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Wendy Robinson, Rob Freathy, Jonathan Doney
Routledge, Jul 26, 2018 - Education - 158 pages

This book presents eight distinctive historical chapters that explore the complex relationship between politics, professionals and practitioners in a range of different educational contexts. It offers a timely contribution to current debates about the contested place and status of educational professionalism in modern society. It is grounded in a firm commitment to the value that a historical perspective might bring to current and recurrent educational concerns, of which educational professionalism remains key.

With fresh examples from nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century education, as well as a diversity of methodological approaches and sources, the book addresses a range of fundamental questions about educational professionalism. These include the wider politics of professionalism; issues of professional knowledge and expertise; what and who counts as professional within various power discourses; professional training, socialisation and accreditation; and professional identities, power, agency, autonomy regulation, accountability, and control. Overall, there is a sense from these chapters that there is something fractured and disconnected in current discourses around educational professionalism, but that there have been particular moments in the past when there was the promise of something different and possibly something more authentic. Moving beyond a narrow focus on schoolteachers as professional practitioners, to embrace a wider conceptualisation of educational professionalism within higher education, the churches, educational leadership, and quasi-professional and voluntary organisations, the book represents a rich and novel contribution to the field.

The chapters in this book were originally published in various issues of History of Education and the British Journal of Religious Education.


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Can we still speak of there being an academic
politics professions and identity
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Knowledge character and professionalisation
Reconstructing the life histories of Spanish primary
Reshaping teacher identity? The Liverpool
the City

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About the author (2018)

Wendy Robinson is Professor of Education at the University of Exeter, UK. She has published extensively in the history of education, with a particular focus on the history of teaching. Her books include: Pupil Teachers and their Professional Training in Pupil Teacher Centres in England and Wales, 1870-1914 (2003); Power to Teach: Learning through Practice (2004); and A Learning Profession? Teachers and their Professional Development in England and Wales 1920-2000 (2014).

Rob Freathy is Associate Professor of History of Education at the University of Exeter, UK. His research interests include religious education, education for citizenship, the historiography of twentieth century education, and the application of historical methods in educational research. His recent publications include Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief (2012) and History, Remembrance and Religious Education (2015).

Jonathan Doney is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK, an Associate Lecturer at the University of Winchester, UK, an honorary Research Associate with the International Centre for Historical Research in Education, and holds a post-doctoral fellowship from the British Academy, funded by the ESRC. His wider research interests are in methodological innovation, critical studies, and the role of education in developing identity.

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