Teachers and educational policy: Markets, populism, and im/possibilities for resistance





teachers, accountability, choice, populism, professionalism, privatisation


This double special issue, “Teachers and educational policy: markets, populism, and im/possibilities for resistance” explores the figurative politics of the teacher in current education systems around the world. In this introduction to the issue, we discuss how and why teachers have emerged as a key focus of contemporary policy reform. We argue that teachers are seen as a logical site of public commentary in the global knowledge economy, yet teacher expertise is feared as both known and unknowable, thereby becoming a target of heightened surveillance and control. The papers in the issue are divided into two instalments. First, those which address how external actors are seen to be (re)shaping teachers and teaching, as well as notions of professionalism, knowledge and ‘truth’ in education. Second, those which explore experiences of, and possibilities for resistance to, such shifts. We close with a discussion of the range of international contexts from which the contributors to this issue write, arguing for a need to reimagine teachers and schooling in ways that are less limited by the systems and structures that have formed common international reference points in policy development thus far.


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Author Biographies

Meghan Stacey, UNSW Sydney

Meghan Stacey is a senior lecturer in the UNSW School of Education, researching in the fields of the sociology of education and education policy. Taking a particular interest in teachers, her research considers how teachers’ work is framed by policy, as well as the effects of such policy for those who work with, within and against it.

Mihajla Gavin, University of Technology Sydney

Mihajla Gavin is a lecturer at UTS Business School. Her PhD, completed in 2019, examined how teacher trade unions have responded to neoliberal education reform. Her current research focuses on the restructuring of teachers’ work and conditions of work, worker voice, and women and employment relations.

Jessica Gerrard, University of Melbourne

Jessica Gerrard is an associate professor at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Jessica researches the changing formations, and lived experiences, of social inequalities in relation to education, activism, work and unemployment. She works across the disciplines of sociology, history and policy studies with an interest in critical methodologies and theories.

Anna Hogan, Queensland University of Technology

Anna Hogan is a senior research fellow in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at the Queensland University of Technology. Her research focuses on education privatisation and commercialisation. She currently works on a number of research projects, including investigating philanthropy in Australian public schooling, the privatisation of global school provision, and the intensification of teachers’ work.

Jessica Holloway, Australian Catholic University

Jessica Holloway is a senior research fellow and ARC DECRA Fellow at the Australian Catholic University. Her research draws on political theory and policy sociology to investigate: (1) how metrics, data and digital tools produce new conditions, practices and subjectivities, especially as they relate to teachers and schools, and (2) how teachers and schools are positioned to respond to the evolving and emerging needs of their communities.




How to Cite

Stacey, M., Gavin, M., Gerrard, J., Hogan, A., & Holloway, J. (2022). Teachers and educational policy: Markets, populism, and im/possibilities for resistance. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (93). https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.30.7407



Teachers and Educational Policy: Markets, Populism, and Im/Possibilities for Resistance