Working Within and Against Neoliberal Accreditation Agendas: Opportunities for Professional Experience

Feb. 25, 2009

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 37, Issue 1 February 2009 , pages 27 - 44.

Over the past decade in Australia, a neo-liberal political climate has delivered to universities and schools increasing expectations concerning accountability and conformity within professional standards frameworks. This has contributed to growing pressure around Professional Experience programs within teacher education.

In light of such accountability agendas, the article analyses impacts arising from the emergence of institutions such as the New South Wales Institute of Teachers. In response to an insistent discourse of 'partnerships', it draws on the work of Lave and Wegner (1991), as well as Engestrm (1999), to pose a reconceptualised model of Professional Experience based on the concept of Activity Systems. An approach to partnerships that structures Professional Experience in schools around the notion of 'communities of learning' is presented.
By shifting power relations and roles around Professional Experience, it is claimed a co-learning environment that more effectively and concurrently attends to the professional learning needs of student teachers, as well as those of practising teachers, can be developed.

Lave, J. and Wegner, E. (1991) Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Updated: Apr. 27, 2009