2021 marks the 100th anniversary of The Newbolt Report, the first official report about English, in spirit a liberal document, arguing for an emancipatory English. Since 1870 The School Subject of English [SSE] has experienced several historical phases. One phase [1980-92] is presented as a period of 'harmonious practice', arguing that it offers a positive view of a future in which SSE and its teachers are at one. SSE is a democratic and emancipatory project, its boundaries constantly expanding to reflect societal change, the needs of its students and a belief in social justice. In the current 'panopticon' phase this emancipatory ambition is performatively diminished. The current dominance of 'The English Literary Heritage' and terminal examinations are stultifying teachers. This overview seeks to trace historical developments, considering ways to recapture the spirit of Newbolt but in a 21st century model of English, we are ready for a new phase.
This chapter tells the story of the Advanced Skills Teachers (AST), drawing on extensive research data with ASTs themselves, Local Authority AST coordinators and a range of Senior School Leaders. It provides the experience of ASTs, their passion for teaching and learning, and their anger and disappointment at the summary abolition of their hard-earned status. The chapter explores Head Teachers and others who were equally concerned about the peremptory policy change. It examines the need to overcome the empty rhetoric of politicians who make much noise about 'world class teachers' but do nothing to develop the profession to achieve such a level. The chapter addresses the narrow prejudice of the media who often deride the models as 'Super Teachers'. The chapter concludes with a new conceptual framework emphasising the nature of the 'voice' that leading teachers can offer the profession as a whole.
Globally teachers are experiencing reductions to their autonomy and constraints on their professional practice through legislative impositions of limiting standards, external testing and narrowing curricula. This study explores the ways English educators find a balance between these external expectations, contemporary pressures, professional aspirations, and personal values. It was a qualitative investigation into the perceptions shared by thirty-three English teachers from New South Wales, Australia and across England. A significant gap now exists between the ways English teachers conceive their subject, their purposes and the nature of their work, and that determined by regulation, formalised curriculum and accreditation requirements. The enduring resilience of these teachers is revealed but also the corrosive structural effects produced by narrowly focused, neoliberal policies especially in relation to high stakes testing. However, the research demonstrates how certain English teachers remain remarkably resilient–retaining autonomy where they can–and we define this attribute as 'adaptive agency'. ; may be compliant at https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/publications/contested-territories-english-teachers-in-australia-and-england-r