Initial Teacher Education in The Panopticon

Aug. 20, 2009

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 35, Issue 3 August 2009 , pages 283 - 297.

The schools' inspection regime in England has shifted in recent decades from a focus on external assessment of practice to a scrutiny of external data and schools' self-evaluation.
It was culminated in a normative system based on self-surveillance by school senior managers.

This model of inspection (characteristic of the performative approach to public sector accountability) is now being extended to providers of initial teacher education, with providers using a standardized self-evaluation template.

A qualitative analysis of this template demonstrates its attempt to normalize and manage the development of initial teacher education programs in order that they reflect political priorities rather than being based primarily on the professional knowledge and judgments. Further, the potential for a conflict of interests between the government agencies responsible for delivery and inspection is considered.

Updated: Nov. 09, 2009