Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Locating post-16 professionalism: public spaces as dissenting spaces

Dennis, Carol Azumah


Carol Azumah Dennis


Locating post-16 professionalism explores the ways in which teachers in the UK and the USA engaged in digitally mediated communication incidentally narrate their professional selves during extended exchanges about the process of post-qualification registration. Drawing on a theoretical framework derived from participatory democracy, the study is mindful of how citizens in public spaces express support or opposition to government policies. During their extended and intense discussion, the teachers involved discuss who legitimately defines and what justifiably bestows professional status. The paper is intent on questioning the location of professionalism rather than its definition. This spatial dimension is central to the argument that unfolds. Teacher professionalism is most frequently positioned within the classroom; a space that was once conceived as offering scope for strategic compliance. More recently, the classroom has become conceptualised as a diminutive space enabling of little more than teacher survival through tactical resistance. My argument is that teacher professionalism may also be located in other spaces, spaces that allow teachers to transcend the scripted pedagogies of the classroom. In these other spaces, teacher professionalism is located within open critique, defiance and dissent, which allow teachers to extend their pedagogic focus and explore dimensions of professionalism that matter to them: what it means, how and by whom it is conferred.


Dennis, C. A. (2015). Locating post-16 professionalism: public spaces as dissenting spaces. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 20(1), 64-77.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 2, 2014
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 7, 2016
Journal Research in post-compulsory education
Print ISSN 1359-6748
Electronic ISSN 1747-5112
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 64-77
Keywords Professionalism; Dissent; Policy; Digital ethnography; Public spaces; Strategic compliance
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in post-compulsory education on 18/02/2015, available online:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations