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Title: "Why do I have to be outstanding?" : an exploration of the interplay of power and voice surrounding the concept of excellence in Further Education
Author: Dixon, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 1423
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2019
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"In a tick box world, a good observation doesn't mean you are a good teacher." Teacher 3 (C College) This small-scale piece of ethnographic research examines the construction, measurement and enactment of teaching 'excellence' in two Further Education colleges in the North West of England. Drawing on social constructivism, and the work of Michel Foucault as a theoretical basis, data was gathered from teachers and managers using a Q-sort activity, focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The research exposed tensions between teachers and their managers about how excellence in teaching is shared and the purposeful silencing of teacher voice, through deliberate refusal to seek teachers' thoughts and opinions. The findings of this research propose that working in a data driven highly pressured culture of continuous improvement is deprofessionalising the workforce and causing worrying new teacher behaviours to emerge. A significant emergent feature of the research is that both colleges have clear symptoms of Vulnerable System Syndrome (Reasons et al., 2001) resulting in pedagogical frailty. This is leading to the pursuit of 'the wrong kind of excellence' (ibid.). As part of the research I offer an excellence matrix that maps teachers' compliancy to college policy alongside their pedagogical understanding, which provides an indicator of frailty. Equally important are the lessons and warnings these findings present to HE, to alert them to the potential dangers of following the FE performative route in the pursuit of organisational excellence for the Teaching Excellence Framework.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Academic studies in further education