The politics of quality improvement: exploring the complexity of teaching and learning practices in Further Education
Naz, Z. 2021. The politics of quality improvement: exploring the complexity of teaching and learning practices in Further Education. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Teacher Education
|Qualification name||Doctor of Philosophy|
This research constitutes an extended inquiry into quality improvement policies and how they are connected with teaching practices in Further Education. It is a case study of an FE college that examines how quality agendas, informed by neoliberalism, create contradictory and complex contexts in which teachers produce different types of practices for specific purposes. Apart from an in-depth exploration of recent policy agendas, data was collected using semi-structured interviews and unobtrusive observations in and outside classrooms. This qualitative study uses Michel Foucault’s archaeology and genealogy as analytical tools to critically examine the dichotomies between practices focusing on day-to-day pedagogies and practices produced for performance management and accountability purposes. By attending to a Foucauldian conception of power and counter-conduct, my work explores new means of defining quality in teaching spaces. I have shown how existing quality judgements, informed by reductionism, present either a bleak or a sanguine view of what particular teaching practices and quality agendas may entail.
This research illuminates the significance of moving slightly away from an institutionalised enterprise culture and loosening our relations with reductionist approaches as a starting point. While doing so, this proposition will help recognise other ways of looking at the complex character of pedagogical real(s) and embrace an emergentist and a process-oriented conception of quality. With this alternative position sketched out, I argue that we need to unlearn our knowledge of quality that overlooks contextual constraints and opportunities enmeshed in teaching practices. We must question the assumptions that the existing methods of observation are capable of quantifying the quality of education in a classroom, department or a college in toto. We need to show that this so-called system of robust accountabilities is not as self-evident as we believe. In other words, we must rethink quality by unthinking our current common sense.
|Keywords||Further Education; Politics of quality improvement; Complexity of teaching and learning practices|
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|Deposited||27 Jun 2022|
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