Redesigning the identities of teachers and leaders: A framework for studying new professionalism and educator resistance


  • Gary Anderson New York University
  • Michael Cohen University of Northern Colorado



politics of education, educational policy, neoliberalism, New Public Management, resistance, professional identity


Neoliberal reforms of public education do more than shape policy and curriculum; they also influence educators’ understanding of themselves as professionals, driving at the very core of what it means to be a teacher or leader.  This article explores the effects of Neoliberal policies and New Public Management pracitces on teachers and principals and the ways they result in a “new professionalism.” The authors provide a framework for studying how these new polices and practices might be resisted, as well as a description of characteristics of the new professional and what professionalism might look like if it were grounded in community and advocacy.


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Author Biographies

Gary Anderson, New York University

Gary L. Anderson is a professor of Educational Leadership in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. A former high school teacher and principal, he has published on topics such as educational policy and leadership, critical ethnography, action research, and school micro-politics. His most recent books include: The Action Research Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty (2015, Sage), with Kathryn Herr, and Advocacy Leadership: Toward a Post-Reform Agenda (2009, Routledge).

Michael Cohen, University of Northern Colorado

Michael I. Cohen is assistant professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Northern Colorado. He has served as a high school English teacher and as an administrator in school- and district-level positions in New Jersey and Colorado. His research interests include accountability, market-based educational reforms, and critical approaches to policy studies.




How to Cite

Anderson, G., & Cohen, M. (2015). Redesigning the identities of teachers and leaders: A framework for studying new professionalism and educator resistance. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 85.



New Public Management and the New Professional