Le Grand (1997) suggested that new models of policy and managerialism characterised public sector professionals as ‘knaves’ (motivated by self-interest), whilst older models saw them as ‘knights’ (altruistically motivated). He concluded that this simplistic view of human motivation was counter-productive to running a cost-effective public sector. Boocock (2015) applied this metaphor to Further Education lecturers’ and managers’ motivation agreeing that assumptions of chivalric altruism or knavish behaviour should be rejected in favour of less hierarchical and combative approaches to improve the experience of both learners and professionals.

This seminar will discuss the application of this feudal metaphor to a research thesis into Further Education lecturers’ professional development. It will describe how early data analysis (including insights from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld), has led to an extension of the metaphor describing a complex field, in which perceptions of lecturers’ varied capital and habitus offer very different employment and development opportunities. Policy changes have extended these opportunities across other educational fields, including the compulsory sector. Here lecturers may be perceived as ‘hedge knights’, with the skills and attributes of chivalry but lacking the accompanying resources or patronage, or as itinerant pedlars of specific skillsets, lacking the attributes required to confer chivalric status.

All are welcome to attend.  Please contact Dee Daglish for further information.

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