From Edu-Twitter to ChatGPT: exploring the changing notions of expertise in the teaching profession

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This conference paper combines insights from a funded project (2015-18) that tracked the reforms to GCSE English (2013-15), with further reflections on the implications of social media, technology and AI for our understanding of “expertise” and its relationship to the teaching profession.

The paper argues that new networks and sources of knowledge, mobilised by the increasing advent of social media and new technologies, have been pressuring the professions to restructure their purpose and function (Susskind and Susskind 2015). In line with this “restructuring”, the UK school reforms (2010-15) prompted new ways of challenging the locus of authority and expertise, both within and outside the teaching profession. Alongside Conservative Party policy to marginalise and decentre the role of universities and LEAs in various provisions (e.g., training and curriculum, Craske, 2020), arguments about changes to pedagogy and assessment were being concurrently conducted often informally through Edu-Twitter, blogs and commercial books (rather than academic) and talks at inexpensive grassroots conferences such as ResearchEd.

The recent release of OpenAi’s ChatGPT (an AI chatbot) has accelerated discussions about the implications of AI in education, and was recently examined by Geoff Barton (2023), as well as the dearth of news articles proclaiming the “end of homework” or exams (Walcock, 2023). Much commentary has been narrowly framed, but such advancements call into question previously accepted ideas about how the profession creates knowledge about itself and its work, how this is communicated, and above all, what it means to be a teacher. What are the implications?

Shortlisted (two SIGs) for BERA Conference 2023 – SIG Best Presentation’ prize

Digital Education
Social Theory and Education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2023
EventBritish Education Research Association (BERA) Conference 2023 - Aston University
Duration: 12 Sep 202314 Sep 2023


ConferenceBritish Education Research Association (BERA) Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleBERA Conference 2023


  • ChatGPT
  • Policy
  • Teaching

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