From education to employment

College lecturers are too tired to teach, says research

College lecturers are too tired to teach, deskilled and alienated, according to the findings of a new research report published last week, by the University of Wolverhampton and Coventry University.

The research study, The changing locus of workplace control in the English Further Education sector, suggests that lecturers are struggling to cope with the demands now placed on them.

Professor Les Worrall, of Strategic Analysis at Coventry University, explains that in "the last two decades there has been considerable change in the structure and management of the public sector. The government has imposed a more market-oriented approach onto the traditional public service values subsumed under progressive public administration."

The day to day study of 470 further education staff argues that managerial changes to the public sector has now left the role of FE lecturer diminished, with the balance of power now resting with the college manager.

He adds: "The evidence illustrates that lecturers are working harder and to an increasingly managerially defined agenda around what gets taught by whom, when and how. This may suggest that the labour process of lecturers has been degraded as power has shifted within colleges away from lecturers as professionals to a growing tier of managers who use the language and logic of efficiency and managerialism to legitimise their actions.

"This research, in parallel with other studies in the sector, suggests that FE has become populated by an increasingly alienated and stressed labour force more inclined to see their work as a production job and not as a profession or a vocation."

Jason Seebaruth

Related Articles