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AbstractThis paper presents a study of dominant educational discourses through textual critique and argues that such an approach enables education studies to preserve an important distinction from teacher training. The texts deconstructed here are specific to English education, but the discourses at work have international relevance as the rhetorics of accountability, performance and measurement (which we call cells of discourse) have global reach. Ward described a national picture in England whereby the great majority, if not all, of education studies undergraduate courses appear to be taught alongside, or within (through shared modules) teacher training programmes. But from a sociological position, these are two increasingly conflicting arenas—the study of education and the training of teachers. In response, Ward called for the subject to radicalize teacher education. The implications of this are significant if education studies is to retain a status as agent of critique. In this paper we return to the theme of education studies as a discrete practice from teacher training and suggest that any acceptance of a proximal relation to teacher education is counter-productive. In so doing we offer three contemporary examples of the subject at deconstructive work, scrutinizing the published standards for teacher training in England, employer discourse and the Tomlinson report (commissioned by the English government to offer proposals for the reworking of vocational education) and the new curriculum for adult literacy in England. Particular attention is given to analysing the ways in which such texts speak the currently powerful discourse of standards.
CitationInternational Studies in Sociology of Education, 16 (2): 159-173
JournalInternational Studies in Sociology of Education