‘A democracy tempered by the rate of exchange’: Audit culture and the sell-out of progressive writing curriculum

Paula M. Salvio, Gail M. Boldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors draw on the concept of ‘audit culture’ to examine the political and professional implications for teachers emerging from contemporary, commercially distributed, writing programmes. They argue that, in adapting what began as a progressive understanding of children’s writing and teacher professionalism for commercial distribution, fundamental values and concerns have been lost. Drawing on the work of James Britton, the authors assert that the market ideologies of audit culture have turned the idea of teacher professionalism on its head, naming the professional not as the teacher who continually develops her/his expertise through intellectual inquiry into the lives, strengths and needs of the children in the classroom but, rather, as the teacher who submits her/himself to constant measures of fidelity to a particlar programme, and to documentation of practices, supervision and correction. The authors argue for a return to the values of Jimmy Britton: commitment to the promotion of play, social engagmentment, freedom of thought and intellectual and emotional experimentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalEnglish in Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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