There is a lot of debate in teaching around who speaks for teachers. Classroom teachers are often given very little freedom to express opinions. At times, believing a particular ideology is treated as almost part of the job description. Often union leaders, educationalists and headteachers are treated as if they speak for the profession, even though there are often huge differences between their perspective and those of somebody teaching year 9 on a Friday afternoon.
At its absolute worst we have:
- Attempts to silence teachers who dare express views that aren’t those of the education establishment.
- Organisations who are set up to represent teachers, but are actually dominated by non-teachers and/or managers.
- “Gatekeepers” who may allow teachers to play a part in public debate or in educational research, but only if they are the right sort of teachers.
- A culture where leaving the classroom, or taking on other responsibilities, can…
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