Seen but not heard: schoolteachers in the news: a historical analysis of The West Australian newspaper's perspectives on teachers in its coverage from 1987 to 2007

Kathryn Shine

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] Teachers in Australia and internationally have expressed frustration at a perceived negative focus in news media coverage of education and teachers. They have also reported that news media coverage about teachers and schooling can affect their relationships with families, friends and the community. Despite this, few studies have examined the nature of news coverage relating to teachers. This thesis aimed to make a significant contribution to the field by providing a detailed analysis of a major newspaper’s coverage of teachers over a 20-year period, and comparing that to the dominant images of teachers in the educational research literature, popular culture and other news media. The thesis examined the portrayal of public school teachers in news articles and editorials published in The West Australian newspaper between 1987 and 2007, focusing on the depiction of teachers in the newspaper’s reporting of five education-related topics which were the subject of sustained coverage during years. These topics are: Unit Curriculum (1987-1988), Industrial Action (1995), The Introduction of Standardised Testing (1997-2001); Teacher Shortage (1999-2007); and Outcomes-Based Education (2005-2007). Each of the topics is the basis of a chapter in which relevant background and contextual information is also provided. The analysis of the reporting of each of the five topics led to the development of a series of propositions about the newspaper’s portrayal of teachers. These are outlined in detail in the relevant chapters, and subsequently allowed for three key representations of teachers to be identified. These can be described as negative representations, sympathetic representations and positive representations. The negative representations Teachers in Australia and internationally have expressed frustration at a perceived negative focus in news media coverage of education and teachers. They have also reported that news media coverage about teache
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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