Pedagogic Being in a Neoliberal School Market: Developing Pedagogical Tact Through Lived Experience


  • Ilona Rinne



Exploring teaching as an upper secondary school teacher through lived experience offers pedagogical insights that have been challenged over a period of 25 years, when neoliberal educational policies gradually transformed the conditions for teaching in Swedish schools. The article is grounded in the assumption that the teaching profession is complex and there are multiple tacit dimensions inherent in being and becoming a teacher. Several of these dimensions are captured by the notion of pedagogical tact and have to be learned through practice. However, over the past few decades, the implementation of neoliberal policies in the Swedish education sector have changed the conditions for teaching, and created an area of tension between the teacher’s pedagogical alignment and the educational practices influenced by neoliberal values. The aim of the study is to describe how the author experienced these tensions, and what they meant for her becoming and being a teacher in three different pedagogical sites: a higher education preparatory program, a vocational preparatory program, and in adult education. The description is grounded in the lifeworld phenomenological approach and carried out through personal narrative.