What are they talking about? The construction of good teaching among students, teachers and management in the reformed Danish upper secondary school

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Hansen, Dion Rüsselbæk ; Bøje, Jakob Ditlev ; Beck, Steen (2014)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v5.23356
  • Subject: discourse analysis; narratives; good teaching; school reforms; Denmark; education policy; upper secondary education

This paper analyses how leaders, teachers and students are realising the reform of the Danish upper secondary school. We illustrate how they articulate good teaching: what they say characterises it, and what they think can facilitate and prevent it. Our claim is that reform discourses and changes to the organisation of teaching and teacher work create new ways of talking about teaching: new values are espoused, new dilemmas, rationalities and conflicts show up. From our point of departure in discourse and actantial analysis, we show that students, teachers and school management speak differently about good teaching. They have different ways of relating to other discourses when articulating good teaching. Management takes up the reform discourse when speaking of good teaching, which is related to the realisation of self-governing teacher teams. The teachers also refer to the reform discourse. But they also speak within a ‘typical’ teacher discourse in which good teaching depends on the teacher’s autonomy to exercise individual judgement. The students, on the other hand, position themselves within a psychodynamic discourse where good teaching is related to the teacher’s personal signature. Therefore, as we will argue, realisation of the reform of Danish upper secondary school is happening in unforeseen ways.Keywords: discourse analysis, narratives, good teaching, school reforms, Denmark, education policy, upper secondary education(Published: 8 December 2014)Citation: Education Inquiry (EDUI) 2014, 5, 23356,http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/edui.v5.23356
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