Risky Choices – Autonomy and Surveillance in Secondary English Classrooms

  • Claudia Rozas Gómes University of Auckland


Achievement data from New Zealand secondary schools suggest that students from lower socio-economic communities have fewer opportunities to engage with complex content in subject English. This article examines this phenomenon by drawing on Foucault’s notion of governmentality and considers how a context of simultaneously increased autonomy and surveillance may shape curriculum and assessment choices. To explore these ideas, I use interview data from ten secondary English teachers in the wider Auckland region. I complement Foucault’s (1982) explanation of governmentality with Ball, Maguire, and Braun’s (2012) notion of policy enactment to explore spaces of both compliance and resistance.


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How to Cite
Rozas Gómes, C. (2023). Risky Choices – Autonomy and Surveillance in Secondary English Classrooms. Teachers’ Work, 20(2), 368-382. https://doi.org/10.24135/teacherswork.v20i2.615