Smyth, John (1992) Teachers' Work and the Politics of Reflection. American Educational Research Journal, 29 (2). pp. 267-300. ISSN 0002-8312

There has been a plethora of material written in recent times on reflective approaches to teaching and teacher education, but a dearth of material that looks behind these studies or asks why these reflective approaches are enjoying such popularity. This article tackles what has really become a major policy issue in the literature in four ways. First, it argues that the rhetoric of devolution and practitioner forms of knowledge may not be entirely altruistic and that such calls are occuring in contexts that display significant moves to bolster central control. Second, it proposes that this apparent contradiction is only explainable when we look at wider structural adjustments occurring in Western capitalist systems. Third, it argues that reflective practices, far from being emancipatory for teachers, entrap them within the New Right ideology of radical interventionism. Finally, the article concludes by describing what a more socially, culturally, and politically reflective approach to teaching might look like.

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