Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration
In this study I use Foucauldian theory to illuminate and analyze the use of surveillance, observation, hierarchical observation, normalizing judgment, and examination by federal and state governments’ education departments in Illinois’ ESSA policy. I conduct a discourse analysis of the Illinois ESSA Plan, specifically use of the IL–EMPOWER Network for mandating failing schools’ teachers’ professional learning, using the Foucauldian concepts of surveillance, observation, normalizing judgment, and examination to reveal the control of the state. Understanding educators need professional development to serve all students well, I begin by offering an historical review of professional development and its evolution over time. I then lay a foundation for my analysis by defining and explaining Foucault’s theories of surveillance, observation, normalizing judgment, and the examination, using this frame as the lens through which to analyze the IL ESSA. I submit findings of my analysis and offer conclusions and implications to public schools and public educators. Given this policy’s meaning and value to educators, I finally pose questions about how school leaders and state-level policymakers might resolve or address those points I raise in my analysis.
Hruby, Carrie, "Gobelin or Guild?: A Foucauldian Analysis of Teachers' Professional Learning Under the Illinois Essa" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 1441.