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Education reform as social barberism: economism and the end of authenticity

Author(s): Stephen J. Ball

Journal: Práxis Educativa
ISSN 1809-4031

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 33;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Performance | Subjectivity | Professionalism

This paper develops previous work on the role of performativity in changing professional practice and practitioner subjectivities in education. It is argued that the technologies of comparison, measurement and accountability, that are currently proliferating in education systems around the world, are not simply new ways of monitoring outcomes but are actively changing what they purport to describe. They change the meaning of teaching and what it means to teach. These technologies of reform are changing the ways that teachers think about what they do, relate to colleagues and to their students. Sociability and collectivity are being destroyed and are being replaced by suspicion, competition, guilt and envy, a new highly charged repertoire of emotions and deformed social relations.
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