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LSIS Research Development Fellowship (RDF) projects 2010-2011: ‘Where Has All The Education Gone?’(Exploring the Language of Learning within Further Education)

Principal focus of the project

The project focuses on what practitioners found to be the results for their professional experiences and their sense of themselves as professional educators of particular types of language choices, driven largely by policy, made by policymakers, leaders, and their peers and colleagues. The researchers collected amd analysed qualitative data via interviews with practitioners with varying levels of experience

Areas of learning
What is this about and what were the main findings?

The researchers found that the professional language surrounding educators broke down into two categories, one of a therapeutic ethos and one related to the economic market model and performativity (linked to summative assessment). These languages, combined with language embedded in operational practices and procedures, produced powerful metaphors which seemed to dominate and often oversimplify conceptions of practice for practitioners, reducing critical reflection about, for example, the accuracy and evidence base underpinning issues such as learning styles or assumptions about the nature of "the curriculum".

Resource form
Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

Andy Smith - The Fylde College

Name of associate programmes

LSIS Research Development Fellowship


A research report describing a joint project by two practitioners exploring the impact the language of learning had on their colleagues' understanding of education, their practice, and their professional identity

Resource Type: Research report