Teacher is a verb, not a noun: A performative approach
Keywords:binary, dressage, Judith Butler, performativity, teacher acts
AbstractThis paper documents a qualitative study of four south Texas female teachers. It reports the experiences of each teacher with the state teacher evaluation system, currently known as the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (TTESS), as documented by three sets of semi-structured interview sessions. The study provided insight into how teachers made meaning of the evaluation system and how that meaning revealed the circulation of performativity throughout the system. The study provided three examples of the circulation of performativity: dressage, temporality of teacher acts, and performance embodies teacher acts. As a result of performative pressures, each teacher described the repetition of specific teacher behaviors that reinforced the preservation of performative acts among teachers. The findings expose the performative nature evaluation systems hold on teachers by use of the TTESS. In addition, the findings showed the need for increased qualitative research aimed at disrupting performance acts within teachers and teacher evaluation systems. It showed a deliberate need for school administrators to consider the performative pressures circulating through evaluation systems and begun to disrupt the effective teacher narrative. The study concluded with considerations for added research in the area of effective teacher narrative and considered dialogue that allows for teachers to teacher free of the performativity trap.
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