In this insightful and timely volume, Jane Perryman provides a definitive analysis of the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention through a critique of the culture of performative accountability in education, bringing together theory, literature, and empirical data.
Drawing on data across several long-term research projects and through a Foucauldian theoretical framework, Perryman argues that teachers’ working lives, both in the UK and internationally, are being increasingly affected by the rise in the neoliberal performativity and accountability culture in schools. Teachers’ work is increasingly directed towards assessment, exams, progress measures, and preparation for review and inspection, and drawn away from the more individualistic and creative aspects of the job. This culture of hyper accountability and super-performativity, Perryman argues, has created a ‘discourse of disappointment’ – where the hopes and aspirations of teachers are crushed beneath the performative pressures under which they work.
Teacher Retention in an Age of Performative Accountability offers a convincing, compellingly written critical analysis of how the values, purposes and practices embedded in education affect the working experience of teachers over time. Perryman makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the effects of accountability and performativity mechanisms in schools and offers insight into why so many teachers leave the profession. This analysis is important to scholars, educators, and policymakers alike.
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