Teaching other people’s children, elsewhere, for a while: the rhetoric of a travelling educational reform

Viv Ellis, Meg Maguire, Tom Are Trippestad, Yunqiu Liu, Xiaowei Yang, Kenneth Zeichner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Teach for All is a good example of a globally travelling educational reform policy. In this article, we examine the rhetoric of the reform through an analysis of its public discourse, specifically the websites for the umbrella organization, 3 of its 35 constituent projects (Teach for America, Teach First and Teach for China) and one associated project (Teach First Norway). The analysis focuses on the rhetorical production of teaching as something done to other people’s children, in places apart from and outside the communities and schools of dominant populations, and for a while only – as a short-term mission rather than what is usually understood as a professional career. We argue that the principal motive underlying Teach for All’s rhetoric is the cultivation of a cadre of leaders and a form of neoliberal social entrepreneurship that it claims will solve the problem of ‘broken’ societies, public services and, specifically, schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-80
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • reform
  • rhetoric
  • Teach for All
  • Teacher education
  • travelling ideas

Cite this