Safety in Numbers? Teacher Collegiality in the Risk-conscious School
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Teacher collegiality comes with the friendliest of epithets. This is the case despite the widely disseminated concerns of Andy Hargreaves (1994) about the pernicious effects of what he calls 'contrived collegiality', and the warnings of Milbury McLaughlin (1993) that more apparent collegiality does not automatically translate into more effective teaching practice. The driving logic of contemporary discussions of teacher culture, in general, still appears to be that teacher collegiality is an essential ingredient of any school that claims to be an 'emotionally healthy workplace' (Jarzabkowski 2001, p 4). It is, ipso facto, a good thing. In this paper, we cautiously attempt to write against the grain of this prevailing moral-ethical tale about teacher collegiality, at the same time working to undo the binary formulation of 'positive' as distinct from 'negative' collegiality that Andy Hargreaves finds useful. Our thesis is that, for better and worse, risk consciousness is an organisational rationality that produces in individual teachers the desire not to be physically isolated from other teachers.
Journal of Educational Enquiry
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