Moments of Rupture. Changing the State Project for Teachers: a Regulation Approach Study in Education Industrial Relations
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the response of secondary school teachers to the Tomorrow's Schools education reforms. Their early response was made largely through their union, the Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA), in an industrial relations setting as the reform proposals were in development and taking their final shape. The interaction between the professional project of these teachers with the proposed reforms produced an outcome for secondary school education shaped by the interaction, rather than just by the reforms themselves. A case study situated at the intersection of industrial relations, state sector and education restructurings during the period 1984-1989 is the focus of the thesis. The argument is located within French regulationalist theory. The concept of the Keynesian Welfare National State provides a means for connecting education as part of the mode of regulation with the role of the state in New Zealand. The Fourth Labour Government entered into a political project that shifted the role of the state in the economy and society. The roots of the project lay in the discourse of economic rationalism. Policy resulting from this discourse was put into operation through legislation affecting all parts of the state. In education, the discourse of economic rationalism introduced a new approach, the values of which were at odds with those of the previous education settlement of the Keynesian Welfare National State. The object of the thesis is to trace the process of change within the secondary schools sector of education through the years 1984-1989 as the two different sets of values interacted. The assumption is made that institutional change results from a dynamic interaction between new ideas and continuities and discontinuities with the past. This allows for the possibility of the effects of agency on public policy. Analysis focuses on a series of industrial negotiations between the PPTA and the State Services Commission, the negotiating body for government. They took place as various government policy documents and resulting legislation altered the positioning of teachers within the state. The negotiations were of such a character that the educational discourses of economic rationalism and the education settlement of the Keynesian Welfare National State came into conflict and were debated at length. The thesis concludes that, by the end of the negotiations and despite the introduction of legislation on education, the values of secondary teachers remained substantially unchanged and in opposition to the intent of the government reforms.