Category Archives: Book Chapters

On the Mistreatment of Management

Gore, J. M., & Parkes, R. J. (2008). On the Mistreatment of Management. In A. Phelan & J. Sumsion (Eds.), Critical Readings in Teacher Education: Provoking Absences (pp. 45-60). Rotterdam, Sense Publishers.

This chapter addresses the odd place that classroom management occupies in the structure and conduct of teacher education programs and in discourse on teaching and teacher education. As evident within the curricula of teacher education programs, and recently produced policy documents describing teacher standards, the idea of “management” has come to occupy a privileged place in discourse on teaching. It is our argument that “management” is mistreated in discourses of teaching and teacher education, and that this mistreatment derives in part from a misunderstanding of pedagogy. However, our argument extends beyond this simple critique, a position that has advocates throughout the field already. Rather, we seek to make what we consider a more significant point. Adopting a theoretical lens provided by the work of Michel Foucault to examine the absence of critical engagement with “management” discourse in the context of teacher education, we argue that this discourse operates as a “regime of truth” that constructs a particular conception of “the good teacher” as “classroom manager” and, through the operation of this regime on and through the individual student teacher, produces a situation in which teachers are likely to desire classroom order over the construction of an intellectually engaging learning environment. In reading management discourse as a regime of truth, we seek to challenge what has become part of the “common-sense” of teaching and teacher education, not to reject it outright, but to explore its productive effects in the constitution of particular kinds of teachers, with very specific desires, practices, and goals.

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