Article | European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults | The eye of the storm: discursive power and resistance in the development of a professional qualification for adult literacies practitioners in Scotland

Title:
The eye of the storm: discursive power and resistance in the development of a professional qualification for adult literacies practitioners in Scotland
Author:
Aileen Ackland: University of Aberdeen, Scotland
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0018
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2011
Volume:
2
Issue:
1
Pages:
57-73
No. of pages:
17
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2011-04-13


The claim to be a profession traditionally assumes the need for a University level qualification. In a previously unregulated area of practice, the development of a professional qualification is thus central to the professionalisation process. In Scotland, the development of a Teaching Qualification for Adult Literacies practitioners became the focal point for the tensions in the broader professionalisation project and a site of discursive contestation in an emergent field of practice. This paper explores the play of power and resistance, drawing primarily on two separate but related research studies– a policy analysis and an exploration of practitioners’ conceptualisations of practice. Whilst the first study explicitly used the methodological framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 2003) and the second, Personal Construct Theory (Kelly, 1955), they are connected by their postmodern focus on language use and an interest in how practitioners are managed by and, in turn, manage and mediate managerial and professional forms of power; both aimed to examine ’how discourse figures in the processes of change’ (Fairclough, 2003, p. 205). Brought into relationship with one another in the context of the nexus of power relations formed by the development of the new qualification, they illuminate the multiple ’projects’ competing discursively in the space.

Keywords: Professionalisation; professional development; adult literacies; discourse

Volume 2, Issue: 1, Article 14, 2011

Author:
Aileen Ackland
Title:
The eye of the storm: discursive power and resistance in the development of a professional qualification for adult literacies practitioners in Scotland:
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0018
References:
  • Ackland, A. (2006). Lizard dressed as Lamb? A cautionary reading of the discourse of the Scottish Adult Literacies Initiative. RaPAL, 60, 37-45.
  • Aronowitz, S. & Giroux, H. (1991). Postmodern Education: Politics, Culture and Social Criticism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Ball, S. (2005). Education reform as social barberism: economism and the end of authenticity Scottish Educational Review, 37(1), 4-16.
  • Bereiter, C. & Scardamalia, M. (2003). Learning to work creatively with knowledge. In E. De Corte, N. Entwhistle, J. van Merrienboer & L. Vershaffel, Powerful Learning Environments: Unravelling BasicComponents and Dimensions (p. 55-68). Oxford: Pergamon.
  • Boud, D., Solomon, N. & Symes, C. (2001). New practices for new times. In D. Boud & N. Solomon (Eds.), Work Based Learning: a new higher education? (p. 18-33). Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Brine, J. (2006). Lifelong learning and the knowledge economy: those that know and those that do not – the discourse of the European Union. British Educational Research Journal, 32(5), 649-665. doi: 10.1080/01411920600895676
  • Carl, W. (1999). Intersections between Kelly’s personal construct theory and postmodern thought. Paper presented to Western States Communication Association, Vancouver. Retrieved March 15, 2010, from BC. http://www.waltercarl.neu.edu/PDFs/wsca%2099%20paper.pdf
  • Clow, R. (2001). Further education teachers’ constructions of professionalism. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 53(3), 407-420. doi: 10.1080/13636820100200166
  • Commission of the European Communities. (2001) Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality. Brussels: European Commission.
  • Commission of the European Communities. (2006) Communication on Adult Learning It’s never too late to learn! Brussels: European Commission
  • Commission of the European Communities. (2007) Action plan on Adult Learning – It’s always a good time to learn. Brussels: European Commission.
  • De Corte, E., Vershaffel, L., Entwhistle, N. & van Merrienboer, J. (2003). Powerful Learning Environments: Unravelling Basic Components and Dimensions. Oxford: Pergamon.
  • Downie, R.S. (1990). Professions and professionalism. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 24(2), 147-159. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9752.1990.tb00230.x
  • EAEA (European Association for the Education of Adults). (2006). Adult education trends and issues in Europé. Retrieved March 25, 2011, from http://www.eaea.org/doc/eaea/AETIstudyfinal.doc
  • Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing Discourse. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Felsted, A., Fuller, A., Unwin, L., Ashton, D., Butler, P. & Lee, T. (2005). Surveying The Scene: Learning Metaphors, Survey Design And The Workplace Context. Journal of Education and Work, 18(4), 359-383. doi: 10.1080/13639080500327857
  • Foucault, M. (1979). On Governmentality. Ideology and Consciousness, 6(1), 5-22.
  • Foucault M. (1998). History of Sexuality Volume 1. London: Penguin.
  • Frowe, I. (2005). Professional trust. British Journal of Educational Studies, 53(1), 34-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8527.2005.00282.x
  • Gee, J. (2003). The new literacy studies and the social turn. Retrieved March 15, 2010, from http://www.schools.ash.org.au/litweb/page300.html
  • Giroux, H. & McLaren, P. (1987). Teacher Education as a Counter-public Sphere: Notes Towards a Redefinition. In T. Popkewitz (Ed.), Critical Studies in Teacher Education: its Folklore, Theory and Practice (p. 266-297). Sussex: Falmer Press.
  • Goodson, I. (2003). Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives. Berkshire: Open University Press.
  • Goodson, I. & Hargreaves, A. (1996). Teachers’ Professional Lives. London: Falmer Press.
  • Hargreaves, A. (2000). Four Ages of Professionalism and Professional Learning. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 6(2), 151-182.
  • Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers Make a Difference: What is the Research Evidence. Paper presented at the Australian Council for Educational Research Annual Conference October 2003. Retrieved March 15, 2010, from http://www.visionschools.co.nz/assets/documents/john_hattie.PDF
  • Hillier, Y. (2008). Evaluation of the Pilot Programme of the Teaching Qualification Adult Literacies (unpublished).
  • Hjort, K. (2009). Competence development in the public sector. In K. Illeris (Ed.), International Perspectives on Competence Development (pp. 112-124). Oxon: Routledge.
  • HM Inspectorate of Education (2005). Changing Lives: Adult Literacy and Numeracy in Scotland Livingston: HMIE.
  • Kalekin-Fishman, D. & Walker, B. M. (1996). The construction of group realities: Culture, society and personal construct theory. Florida: Krieger.
  • Kelly, G. A. (1955). The psychology of personal constructs. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Leavey, J. (2005). Adult literacies: the Scottish approach. Reflect, 4, 22-24.
  • Maclachlan, K. (2004). Changing policies, changing practices, changing approaches to adult literacies learning. Adult Education and Poverty Reduction: Proceedings of the International Conference, University of Botswana.
  • Maclachlan, K. (2006). Don’t look North Through Rose-tinted Spectacles: Tensions, Struggles and Guiding Lights in Scotland – A Reflection. RaPAL, 60, 32-36.
  • Maclachlan, K. & Tett, L. (2006). Learning to change or changing the learning: adult literacy and numeracy in Scotland. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 12(2), 195-206.
  • MacLure, M. (1993). Arguing for Your Self: identity as an organizing principle in teachers’ jobs and lives. British Educational Research Journal, 19(4), 311-322. doi: 10.1080/0141192930190401
  • MacLure, M. (2003). Discourse in educational and social research. Berkshire: Open University.
  • Ollin, R. (2005). Professionals, poachers or street-level bureaucrats: government policy, teaching identities and constructive subversions. In J. Satterthwaite & E. Atkinson (Eds.), Discourses of Education in the Age of Imperialism (pp. 151-162). Stoke on Trent: UK: Trentham.
  • Papen, U. (2005). Adult Literacy as Social Practice: More than Skills. London: Routledge. Doi: 10.4324/9780203347119
  • Parkinson, D. (2006). What’s underpinning Scotland’s literacies policy? RaPAL, 60, 28-31.
  • Popkewitz, T. (1997). The production of reason and power: curriculum history and intellectual traditions. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 29(2), 131-164. doi: 10.1080/002202797184107
  • Sachs, J. (2003). The Activist Teaching Profession. Berkshire: Open University Press.
  • Scottish Executive (2000). Literacies in the Community. City of Edinburgh Council: Edinburgh.
  • Scottish Executive (2001). Adult Literacy and Numeracy in Scotland Report. Scottish Executive: Edinburgh.
  • Scottish Executive (2005). Benchmark Statements for the Teaching Qualification Adult Literacies. Learning Connections and the Quality Assurance Agency: Edinburgh.
  • Shain, F. & D. Gleeson. (1999). Under new management: changing conceptions of teacher professionalism and policy in the further education sector. Journal of Educational Policy, 14, 445-462. doi: 10.1080/026809399286288
  • Shaw, M. & Crowther, J. (1995). Beyond subversion. In M. Mayo & J. Thompson (Eds.), Adult Learning, Critical Intelligence and Social Change (p. 204-218). Leicester: NIACE.
  • Street, V. B. (1985). Literacy in theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Swan K. & Shea, P. (2005). The development of virtual learning communities. In R. Goldman & S. Hiltz, Asynchronous Learning Networks: The Research Frontier (pp. 239-260) New York: Hampton Press.
  • Usher, R., & Bryant, I. (1989). Adult Education as Theory, Practice and Research: The Captive Triangle. London: Routledge.
  • Usher, R. & Edwards, R. (1998). Postmodernism and Education. London: Routledge.
  • Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Widdowson, H. G. (2004). Text, Context, Pretext: Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Doi: 10.1002/9780470758427
  • Williams, R. (1990). What I came to say. London: Hutchinson Radius.

Volume 2, Issue: 1, Article 14, 2011

Author:
Aileen Ackland
Title:
The eye of the storm: discursive power and resistance in the development of a professional qualification for adult literacies practitioners in Scotland:
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0018
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
  • Lesley Doyle, Regina Egetenmeyer, Chetan Singa & Uma Devi (2016). Professionalisation as development and as regulation: Adult education in Germany, the United Kingdom and India. International Review of Education, 62(3): 317. DOI: 10.1007/s11159-016-9560-y
  • Armando Loureiro, Artur Cristóvã & Telmo Caria (2013). Between external prescription and local practice The uses of official knowledge by adult education professionals in Portugal. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 4(1): 65. DOI: 10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0088
  • Aileen Ackland (2013). At Play in the Space: The concept of 'the social practice approach' in the Scottish adult literacies field. Literacy and Numeracy Studies, 21(1): . DOI: 10.5130/lns.v21i1.3330
  • Export in BibTex, RIS or text