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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Talking about education: exploring the significance of teachers’ talk for teacher agency
Author(s): Biesta, Gert
Priestley, Mark
Robinson, Sarah
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Keywords: teacher knowledge
teachers’ vocabularies
teachers’ talk
teacher professionalism
teacher agency
Issue Date: 2017
Date Deposited: 30-May-2016
Citation: Biesta G, Priestley M & Robinson S (2017) Talking about education: exploring the significance of teachers’ talk for teacher agency. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 49 (1), pp. 38-54.
Abstract: The interest in teachers’ discourses and vocabularies has for a long time been studied under the rubric of knowledge, most notably teachers’ professional knowledge. This interest can be traced back to Shulman’s distinction between different kinds of teacher knowledge and Schwab’s interest in the role of practical reasoning and judgement in teaching. Within the research a distinction can be found between a more narrow approach that focuses on teachers’ propositional or theoretical knowledge and a more encompassing approach in which teachers’ knowledge is not only the knowledge for teachers generated elsewhere, but also the knowledge of teachers. This is the ‘stock of knowledge’ gained from a range of sources and experiences, including teachers’ ongoing engagement with the practice of teaching itself. In this paper we focus on the role of teachers’ talk in their achievement of agency. We explore how, in what way and to what extent such talk helps or hinders teachers in exerting control over and giving direction to their everyday practices, bearing in mind that such practices are not just the outcome of teachers’ judgements and actions, but are also shaped by the structures and cultures within which teachers work.
DOI Link: 10.1080/00220272.2016.1205143
Rights: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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