The ordinary everyday: centring the embodied practice of classroom teaching

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Schools in Victoria, Australia, currently work under immense pressure to implement a range of policy initiatives into teachers’ daily practice, including school-wide models of explicit instruction, evidence-based approaches, and the use of “high impact” teaching strategies. The conversion of teaching from human-centred, idiosyncratic and embodied work, to an occupation emulating a medical model of practice, is underway (McKnight & Morgan, 2019). Drawing on Stewart’s (2007) theorising of the everyday, this chapter attempts to draw focus away from these new initiatives and discourses-the clinical, the evidence-based, -and toward the ordinary of teacher practice. It argues that democratic practice must pay attention to the embodied experience of classroom teaching, and that the impositions of data modalities and policy initiatives that impose rigid structures upon teacher practice pose a risk to the agentic properties of teaching work. Finally, it suggests that the introduction of teaching and learning models, explicit instructional models, data imperatives and mandates to incorporate particular evidence-based teaching strategies interrupts the established routines and intimacies of classroom practice, homogenising affective moments, and replacing them with clinical rationalities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Education for Democracy
Subtitle of host publicationCreative Responses to Local and Global Challenges
EditorsStewart Riddle, Amanda Heffernan, David Bright
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781000506648, 9781003145806
ISBN (Print)9780367703431, 9780367703448
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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