The Teaching/researching Subject: A Consuming Subjectivity

Janet Mansfield
Vol 25, Number 2, p.31
An inspiring image for this project was one of the institutional accountability movement and its disciples dressed up as lepidopterists hunting down creativity and criticality “the way lepidopterists chase down butterflies before hanging them out to dry” (Eggleton, 2004: 60). “Seamless” education is represented in the conflation of teachers’ colleges and universities now operating under the Performance-Based Research Funding (PBRF) in New Zealand. It is in this site that an homogeneous identity of “researcher” is presumed, which I call “the teaching/ researching subject”, and it is here that a call for deterritorialisation of traditional boundaries of “research” is needed. Firstly, this discussion examines the nature of PBRF, then follows with a focus on “becoming the neoliberal teaching/researching subject”. This is presented as a consuming subjectivity that becomes an all-consuming process, the effects of which may be damaging to the broader educational project. I examine the social effects of “knowledge capitalism” (Peters, 2003: 115) in terms of the neoliberal teacher/researcher, with the intention to provide a critical response to the ideological assumptions embedded within the New Zealand PBRF policy from the point of view of an art and music academic, educator and researcher. The focus is particularly upon teacher education within the discipline of Education.