The subject beyond culture: An examination of change in educator subjectivity(s) on becoming ‘international’

  • Kevin House

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


The central premise of this enquiry is that the International Baccalaureate (IB) model of education fails to deliver the humanitarian values that its literature claims describe. Its curriculum lacks the moral authority of a coherent philosophical foundation, and this promotes 'emotivism,' which reinforces contradictory ‘neoliberal’ values. Accordingly, this undermines the basic aim of an IB education and leaves its teachers prone to the subjectivism of emotivist morality. The proposal is that a process of reflexive practice can create an Aristotelian alternative to emotivism that revitalises the IB’s values-based model. Furthermore, it will argue that technology can build this practice into a 'social ontology’ that challenges the ‘governmentality’ of contemporary international education. To test the premise, an isolated ‘classic’ type of international IB school is considered because it reveals how a teacher’s cultural displacement shows the ontological significance of difference. This is followed by an evaluation of the ontological impact of international education’s governmentality. Subsequently, Alasdair MacIntyre's virtue theory is combined with Michel Foucault's ‘care of the self,’ to build a framework for reflective teacher practice. Then, an argument is made to use technology to connect these individuals and form a reflexive social ontology. To conclude, the enquiry argues that technology represents an objective rationality that challenges emotivism by removing subjectivism from the moral issues of difference facing an IB teacher.
Date of Award6 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SponsorsInternational Baccalaureate
SupervisorMichael Donnelly (Supervisor) & Mary Hayden (Supervisor)


  • moral philosophy
  • international education
  • teacher ontology

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