Renegotiating Reflective and Ethical Practice in a Liquid Education System

  • Andrew SkourdoumbisEmail author
  • Sue Bennett


Skourdoumbis and Bennett draw attention to the constantly changing global environment in which education systems are embedded and to which they have been required to respond. Drawing on Zygmunt Bauman’s characterisation of the apparently ‘liquid’ economic, social and political environments that characterise late modernity in which it seems nothing is solid, irreplaceable, permanent or in a sense deeply trustworthy and dependable, they discuss the consequences for education. The global response has been widely described as a neo-liberal response with its characteristic demands for accountability, efficiency and compliance with standards monitored through management and policy strategies that require measurable outcomes. The consequences for teachers’ work in this environment of increasingly routine procedures and decreasing professional autonomy are deeply troubling. Teachers are increasingly drawn away from the personal, humane and community relations that they still know are the fundamental characteristics of their daily work and are confronted with ethical issues, if not crises, arising from the apparently contradictory discourses of audit, accountability and compliance that constrain them. The authors illustrate these moments of ethical confrontation with reference to typical challenges faced daily by teachers as they strive to retain a sense of authentic endeavour.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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