Teacher responsibility: Shifting care from student to (professional) self?

Stephen Eric CHATELIER, Sophie RUDOLPH

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The professionalisation of teaching in Australia is a policy shift that transpires within broader policy dynamics which are increasingly influenced by neoliberal logics. In this article we examine teacher responsibility through analysis of a new measure introduced in Victoria. This requires teachers to prove professional development hours in the area of teaching students with special needs in order to maintain their professional registration. Through our analysis of this policy move we draw out some tensions that emerge in relation to teacher responsibility, accountability and autonomy to reveal that (often hidden) neoliberal governing logics can operate to shift teachers’ focus from care of the student towards care of the (professional) self. With the theoretical support of Nel Noddings’ ‘ethic of care’, we argue that teacher responsibility to care can be torn between market-based regulations and the care of the student, paradoxically de-professionalising teachers’ work in the act of attempting to professionalise. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number1
Early online date03 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Chatelier, S., & Rudolph, S. (2018). Teacher responsibility: Shifting care from student to (professional) self? British Journal of Sociology of Education, 39(1), 1-15. doi: 10.1080/01425692.2017.1291328


  • Critical policy analysis
  • Teacher standards
  • Responsibility
  • Care
  • Noddings


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