Papers & Workshops



Managerialism in Education: Discourses and Micropractices of Resistance.


Jill Sanguinetti

Adult Literacy and Numeracy Australian Research Consortium, School of Education, Victoria University, Australia

For almost a decade, the educational and organisational culture in TAFE has been increasingly characterised by managerialism, understood in terms of technocratic and undemocratic management practices and as a subjectifying discourse. In this paper, I analyse a transcript of a discussion amongst a group of teachers who share stories about coercive managerial practices at their college and their struggles to survive, adapt to, and to attempt to resist within that context. I present the issues of managerialism as experienced by the teachers and an analysis of the discussion as text. The teachers position themselves primarily in a discourse of professionalism as a discourse of resistance. The discourse of teacher professionalism that the teachers draw on contains a number of contradictory elements. The teachers themselves are on casual or short-term contracts and have few spaces for resisting what they experience as a hostile, technocratic management environment. A further slice of analysis of the text reveals ways in which the teachers' discursive struggles are carried out: their micropractices of discursive resistance. Six micropractices of discursive resistance are delineated in the ways the teachers respond (both intuitively and deliberately) and make meaning of the radical changes in their working environment.
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000