Gramsci, Embryonic Organic Intellectuals, and Scottish Teacher Learning Representatives: Alternatives to Neoliberal Approaches to Professional Development in the K-12 Sector

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Alex Alexandrou


In Scotland, we are witnessing a major initiative in the field of professional development for teachers led by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) that is having a positive impact on teachers, the education system and children they serve, whilst at the same time challenging the neo-liberal approach to education. The initiative is union learning representatives (ULRs) and this article will show how teacher LRs in Scotland are having a significant impact on their colleagues and the professional development agenda within the Scottish education system. This article will be a case study analysing the activities and initiatives of the EIS LRs analysed through the lens of Stevenson's (2008) theoretical model based on the writings of Gramsci (1971) that establishes ULRs as potential ‘organic intellectuals' capable of challenging the hegemonic orthodoxy of current education policy. 

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