The continuing politics of mistrust: Performance management and the erosion of professional work
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Citation:Fitzgerald, T. (2008). The continuing politics of mistrust: Performance management and the erosion of professional work. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 40(2), 113-128. doi: 10.1080/00220620802210871
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1679
For the past two decades schools and teachers in New Zealand and elsewhere have been the subject of and subjected to intense public scrutiny of their performance and professional activities. In effect, policy solutions have cast teacher and school performance as a ‘problem’ to be solved/resolved via the intervention of the State. Consequently, the policy remedy has been the introduction of audit mechanisms such as systems of performance management to define, regulate and control teaching and teachers. That is, the State has directly intervened in the professional work and activities of teachers based on the flawed assumption that teachers cannot be trusted and therefore require the intervention of the State and its agencies to ensure their performance is aligned with organisational objectives. And while one of the hallmarks of a profession and professional practice is adherence to a set of prescribed standards, performance management has rendered teachers accountable to the State, not professional peers. And, as this article outlines, this has served to de-professionalise teaching and teachers’ work.