1st Edition

A Class Act Changing Teachers Work, the State, and Globalisation

By Susan Robertson Copyright 2000

    This book offers an original and challenging theoretical and empirical approach to mapping the changing nature of teachers' work historically and in the contemporary period. It is an attempt to understand how and in what ways teachers' work has changed following the demise of the post-war settlement and the imminent collapse of teachers' project of professionalism secured through solidaristic strategies such as unionism. Dr. Robertson argues that in order to understand these issues, a more rigorous set of conceptual tools around social class, occupational power and worker control is needed. The first two sections of the book set out to address that problem. The final section elaborates on the changing contexts and conditions for contemporary teachers more generally, and argues that structural and ideological changes within educational provision have led to differing capacities in the realization of class assets.

    Introduction: Teachers and Change Chapter One: Teachers and Class - The Terrain and Stakes of Struggle Chapter Two: Teachers, The State and Social Settlements Chapter Three: Laissez Faire Liberalism, Teachers and the State Chapter Four: Fordist Keynesian State Welfarism and the Rise of Teachers as 'Professionals' Chapter Five: The New Politics of 'Fast Capitalism': From Body to Soul Chapter Six: Post-Fordist Discourses and Teachers' Work Chapter Seven: Racheting Up the 'Marketness Factor': Managing Compliance to the Competitive State Project Chapter Eight: Fast Schools: The New Politics of Production and Consumption Chapter Nine: Critical Realities Reviewed


    Dr. Susan Robertson has researched, published and taught political sociology and policy studies in education in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. She has recently taken up an appointment as Senior Lecturer in the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol in England. Dr. Robertson has published in a range of international journals and book collections on matters of education, labor and the state. Her interest is in theorizing the changing nature of work, policy formation and implementation and critical policy analysis. She is co-editor with Harry Smaller of Teachers' Political Activism (1996) and currently completing a book with Roger Dale on Critical Policy Methodology in Education.

    "Susan Robertson gives us a formidable basis for understanding teachers' place in society... Clearly Written, thoroughly researched, and willing to confront hard issues, this book will be a great asset for all concerned to understand teachers, teachers' work, and current developments in education." -- R.W. Connell, Professor of Education, The University of Sydney
    "A Class Act reaffirms Susan Robertson's place as one of the most perceptive researchers on the transformations education is experiencing today. Conceptually, historically, and empirically nuanced, this book is certain to provide a crucial foundation for critical understanding. It is essential reading for those who want to more fully understand what is happening to schools and teachers." -- Michael W. Apple, John Bascom Professor of Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison