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Title: Pedagogy, subjectivity and counter politics in the primary school : an ethnography of a teacher's practices
Author: Teague, L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 6730
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is an ethnography of my teaching practices over the course of a year I spend teaching a class of six and seven year old students at Greenfield Infant School. It theorises my enactments of counter politics which attempt to disrupt normative schooling practices, producing educational inequalities at this site. Judith Butler's work on the performative constitution of the subject conceptually frames this study alongside Michel Foucault's theorisation of the operation of disciplinary power. The thesis puts forward several lines of argument that extend understanding of what it means to be a teacher practicing in ways that are counter political within the current educational system in the UK. Firstly, I suggest that there is a paradox in the very idea of enacting counter politics in school because, as a teacher, I am constituted via the very discourses I attempt to disrupt. This impacts on the kinds of political action I can take whilst remaining legible as a teacher. I go on to theorise the politics of different kinds of pedagogical interventions, from changing the content of the curriculum to acknowledging the emotions of seemingly 'disruptive' students, arguing that the foregrounding of relationality is key to the development of politics that includes the students. I conclude by arguing that the discursive agency I assume when enacting counter politics at Greenfield Infant School is not mine alone. The spaces I find for counter politics are often opened up for me by the students I teach or the possibilities for resistance are developed collectively within the class. The thesis concludes with an exploration of different forms of collective resistance that are currently unfolding from inside and outside the education system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available