Teachers and public engagement: an argument for rethinking teacher professionalism to challenge deficit discourses in the public sphere

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Thomas, Sue
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2011
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This paper explores the interrelationships between discourses on teachers constructed in television programs and in policies in the Australian policy context. It argues that, in the context of public debates on teacher quality, both media and education policy texts construct deficit discourses about teachers, discourses that work together to inform public, commonsense understandings on teacher quality. Critical discourse analysis was employed to trace the discursive links between the discourses on teachers constructed in a television situation comedy and the documents that inform the Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme. The paper demonstrates the interdiscursivity of media and policy discourses on teacher quality by analysing the ways that a television sitcom constructed a particular version of teachers within the Australian policy context. The analysis highlights the need for teachers to challenge these deficit discourses in order to reconstruct the teaching profession as an active voice in the public media debates on education.

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Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education

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23

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3

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© 2011 Routledge. This is an electronic version of an article published in Discourse, Vol. 23(3), 2011, pp. 371-382. Discourse is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com with the open URL of your article.

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Education

Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified

Human society

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