The devalued, demoralized and disappearing teacher: The nature and effects of datafication and performativity in schools

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Abstract

In this article, we highlight the specificity of teachers’ practices in an era of increased attention to reified measures of data as evidence of student learning. Drawing upon Kemmis et al.’s (2014) notion of educational practice as characterized by specific ‘sayings,’ ‘doings’ and ‘relatings,’ under particular ‘cultural-discursive,’ ‘material-economic’ and ‘socio-political’ conditions, we analyze teachers’ work practices in two public schools in south-east Queensland. We reveal granular details about how teachers’ engagement with reified forms of student evaluation data under broader neoliberal policy conditions influenced their personal and professional identity as teachers. We argue that engagement with such data processes under these conditions leads to not only their demoralization but also the devaluing of teachers’ work, and ultimately, what we claim to be the very ‘disappearance’ of the teacher – the expunging of relational, educative interactions that enable genuine student engagement and learning. The consequence is an eviscerated form of schooling that may jeopardize students’ long-term academic and social development.

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How to Cite
Daliri-Ngametua, R., & Hardy, I. (2022). The devalued, demoralized and disappearing teacher: The nature and effects of datafication and performativity in schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (102). https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.30.6174
Section
Teachers and Educational Policy: Markets, Populism, and Im/Possibilities for Resistance
Author Biographies

Rafaan Daliri-Ngametua, Australian Catholic University

Rafaan Daliri-Ngametua is a lecturer at the National School of Education, Australian Catholic University. Her PhD, completed in 2022, focuses on the nature and effects of the datafication of assessment and learning on student, teacher, and school practices across primary and secondary schooling contexts. Her current and future research focusses on education policy and governance, datafication, teachers’ work, assessment, and student voice.

Ian Hardy, The University of Queensland

Dr. Ian Hardy is associate professor at the School of Education, The University of Queensland, Australia. Dr Hardy’s research focuses on educational policy and politics, particularly in relation to globalisation processes. Current and future research also includes work about the nature and effects of datafication processes in national and international educational settings (Australia, England, Singapore and Bangladesh). Dr Hardy serves as an Associate Editor of the Australian Educational Researcher.