Smyth, John (2004) Policy research and ‘damaged teachers’: towards an epistemologically respectful paradigm. Waikato Journal of Education, 10. pp. 263-281. ISSN 1173-6135

This paper canvasses one of the most debilitating issues currently disfiguring schools - the absent voices of teachers in the policy reform of schooling. This is a phenomenon that has afflicted schooling around the world for more than three decades, and it is not without effects. The escalating levels of student disaffection, alienation, violence, disengagement and `dropping out' are not unconnected to the marginalisation of teachers and the disrespectful and distrustful ways in which they have been treated by policy makers, politicians and a largely hostile media. What is advanced in its place in this paper is a way of conducting research that restores trust through acknowledging and celebrating the distinctive repertoires of knowledge teachers and students possess, and points to the way in which a more respectful policy paradigm might be re-invented.

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