Reclaiming professionalism for geography education: Defending our own territory

Theresa Bourke*, Mary Ryan, John Lidstone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In a world where governments increasingly attempt to impose regulation on all professional activities, this paper advocates that professional standards for teachers be developed 'by the profession for the profession'. Foucauldian archaeology is applied to two teacher standards documents recently published in Australia, one developed at national governmental level and the other by geography teachers through their professional associations. The excavation reveals that both students and geography teachers themselves are better served when teachers assert their own definition of professionalism and thus reclaim their professional territory, rather than being compliant with generic governmental agendas. Whilst we use Australia as an illustrative example, our findings are applicable to all other countries where governments attempt to impose external professional standards on the teaching profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-998
Number of pages9
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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