Smyth, John (1991) International Perspectives on Teacher Collegiality: a labour process discussion based on the concept of teachers’ work. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 12 (3). pp. 325-346. ISSN 0142-5692
Abstract

Broadly defined as teachers conferring and collaborating with other teachers, collegiality is becoming something of a new orthodoxy so far as educational policy makers are concerned. The implicit presumption behind such schemes as those of the ‘lead teacher’ programmes in the USA (and its derivatives in other countries) is that the team concept has the potential to unleash the kind of teacher creativity necessary to produce the kinds of educated labour required for economic recovery. This paper argues that this approach is flawed in that it takes scant account of teachers’ preparedness, or otherwise, to engage in the forms of contrivance and shallow participative pretence being suggested. Drawing on international literature the paper argues that as a policy option collegiality may appear to satisfy the requirement of accessing teachers’ knowledge and understanding, but it falls far short of being the effective mechanism touted in some quarters for educational and economic revitalisation.

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