The Standards Cage: A contradictory politics of control.

Jo-Anne Reid, Marie Brennan

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter we endeavour to think with and against the idea of teaching and teacher education programme standards as simple mechanisms of political control, to acknowledge the affordances and possibilities for innovation and the constraints and potential for conservatism that they bring. We argue that in Australia what matters â€Â' for both policy and practice in education â€Â' is that we value and nourish our capacities for thinking of multiple solutions, tidy frameworks and cages, and received notions of teacher education. We must always ‘worry’ (about) the will to simplicity and ease that Weber warned us about over a century ago, when he said of the capitalist bureaucratic order:No one knows who will live in this cage in the future or if it will eventually produce new thinking. Will there be a great rebirth of old ideas and ideals, or if neither, will there be mechanised petrification, embellished with a sort of convulsive self-importance? For the last stage of this cultural development, it might well be truly said [quating Goethe]: ‘Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved’. (Weber 1930/2001: 124, our italics)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeacher Education through Active Engagement
Subtitle of host publicationRaising the Professional voice.
EditorsLori Beckett
Place of PublicationUnited States
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780415821681
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Reid, J-A., & Brennan, M. (2013). The Standards Cage: A contradictory politics of control. In L. Beckett (Ed.), Teacher Education through Active Engagement: Raising the Professional voice. (pp. 111-124). Routledge.