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Finding ways to work with new routes into teaching. Relational tensions in Partnerships; the impact of recent policy changes. Yet as we share the gaze …. Are these two sharing the same thoughts and motivations about this possible purchase?. What are the unspoken agendas?. SCITTs. University

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Yet as we share the gaze …

Are these two sharing the same thoughts and motivations about this possible purchase?

who are we talking about the partners




Academies (chains)

Teaching School



Local schools

Who are we talking about?(the partners)



And who are we?

How do we define ourselves?

What of our own sense-making of the landscape?

a landscape of others

A landscape of others

Friendship, power, mistrust, interpretation

the policy landscape do we accept or challenge
The policy landscape – Do we accept or challenge?
  • Education framed as an economical transaction presupposes that ends are given; as such, the negotiation of ends, which is of significance for any educational process, is also made insignificant. …

Frelin, A. (2013).

but what do we share in common

Meanings about power and democracy?

Shared language

Complexities of managing behaviour v’s managing learning

Beliefs about purposes/aims of education

Understandings about what adult learning is about?

What is involved in conceptualising a teacher education pathway?

But what do we share in common?



Educational language rather than a language of schooling

  • Goodson (2005) argues that when context is left out of the discussion on teacher professionality* education risks being reduced to a technical fulfilment of external demands

Professionality includes the ability to exert educational judgement ; being well trained or knowledgeable is not enough!

the language of relational professionalism
The language of relational Professionalism

An alternative to managerial discourse used in two different ways

Frelin, A. (2013). Exploring Relational Professionalism in Schools. Rotterdam: Sense Pub.

Vertical between teachers and administration/policymakers

The horizontal spurs collegial discussion on what is and what is not professional ways of being


Andy Hargreaves (1994) talked about different kinds of teacher culture from individualistic to collaborative.

  • Contrived collegiality – where teachers simply ‘meet and work to implement the curricula and instructional strategies developed by others’ – (can create inflexibility and inefficiency)

In a world of uncertainty they [universities] do retain one vitally important principle that marks them out from any other institution in contemporary society and that is their commitment to what we might call ‘the contestability of knowledge’.

(Furlong 2013)

the value of contradiction
The value of contradiction
  • Contradiction reminds us that resolution is fragile, temporary and, very often, incomplete – that disorder always looms. But perhaps these are the very qualities that fuel an inquiring mind. Perhaps we need contradiction to keep us alert to the responsibility of acting on our imaginations.

(Peseta and Grant 2011: 1)

boundary spanners into the spaces
Boundary spanners – into the spaces
  • K Zeichner 2008 – Third spaces

School culture

University culture

School culture

Dialogic space of knowledge creation and shared focus

Debates over the meaning of ‘Third Space’ (e.g. Bridging vs. integration)


Macfarlane, K., Nobel, K., Kilderry, A., & Nolan, A. (2005) Developing skills of thinking otherwise and critical reflection. In K. Noble, K Macfarlane & J. Cartmel (Eds.) Circles of Change: Challenging orthodoxy in practitioner research (pp.11-20) Frenchs Forest , NSW, Pearson

What are the relational tensions in partnership?

Deconstruct – tease apart the topic

Confront – consider the issues relevant to future

What has been the impact of recent policy changes on partnerships? (Positive and negative)

Theorise – making the links between theory & practice

What suggestions do you have for constructive ways forward with partnerships?

Think otherwise – rethink practice and identify multiple ways of working with the issues.