Storying an alternative discourse of public education

When we are constantly told that there is no alternative, it can be hard to imagine that an alternative might ever exist. This point is illustrated quite starkly in an animated adaptation of Platos’ Allegory of the Cave . The short film was first shown to me by a Mexican critical pedagogue and fellow Masters…

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Analysing language from the outside in

It has been nearly twenty years to the day since I graduated from the University of Nottingham (for the first time) with a BA Hons in Modern Language Studies. I was in one of the first cohorts to study three languages to degree level – two from A-level and a third ab initio. We were a…

Looking beyond a collective

One of the most interesting aspects of researching teacher professionalism in England and Sweden has been trying to understand what a collective voice sounds like. Who are the collective? How do they organise themselves? Do they speak louder together or, despite their number, only in a whisper? What I have discovered is that, in the teaching…

Raising a collective voice

The privatised context of teachers’ work encourages a culture of individualism and individualisation in which the collective identity is often imposed by a corporate elite.  I believe that professional self-definition through community and a unified message are essential if the teaching profession is to challenge these discourses of division and own brand forms of professionalism.  By…