Strategic Compliance: Silence, "Faking it," and Confession in Teacher Reflection

Becky M. Atkinson


In this article, the author considers how teacher reflection as it is represented and enacted programmatically in curriculum, professional organizations, and research has often led to teachers' strategic compliance to externally imposed notions of teacher reflection.  Conceptualizing strategic compliance as an effect of pastoral power working through disciplinary technologies to regulate and normalize teacher reflection, the author examines three features of teachers' strategic compliance documented in the reflection literature identified as silence, "faking it," and confession. This examination of three features of strategic compliance as effects of pastoral power's disciplinary technologies questions the production of teacher reflection practices that undermine the critical and transformative purposes for which reflection is endorsed. This offers possibilities for more nuanced reconsideration of how reflection is conceptualized as a site for assessment rather than a process of exploration and sustained interrogation of the meaning and reality of reflection as a collective and shared experience among educators. 


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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

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