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To promote, or not to promote fundamental British values? Teachers’ standards, diversity and teacher education

Elton-Chalcraft, Sally and Lander, Vini and Revell, Lynn and Warner, Diane and Whitworth, Linda (2016) To promote, or not to promote fundamental British values? Teachers’ standards, diversity and teacher education. British Educational Research Journal, 43 (1). pp. 29-48. ISSN 0141-1926

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Abstract

In this article we seek to problematize the presence of the requirement within the teachers’ standards (DfE, 2012), that they ‘should not undermine fundamental British values’ in the context of initial teacher education in England. The inclusion of this statement within the teachers’ code of conduct has made its way from the counter‐terrorism strategy, Prevent and raises questions about Britishness, values and the relationship between the state and the profession more generally. We argue that the inclusion of the phrase within a statutory document that regulates the profession is de facto a politicization of the profession by the state thereby instilling the expectation that teachers are state instruments of surveillance. The absence of any wider debate around the inclusion of the statement is also problematic as is the lack of training for pre‐service and inservice teachers since it means this concept of fundamental British values is unchallenged and its insidious racialising implications are unrecognised by most teachers.

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