ryan-policetraining-2008.pdf (303.76 kB)
Pedagogy, police training, D/discourses – subcultures and situated identities and meanings
conference contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Cheryl RyanCheryl Ryan
Qualitative and quantitative methods were used in this research to distinguish the prevailing D/discourses (words, tools, beliefs, thinking styles) in police training and to analyse the ‘discourse-practice’ (Cherryholmes 1988: 1) framework of policing in a training environment. The manifestations, functions and consequences of the D/discourses raise concerns about the efficacy of training (its doctrinal intent and value versus its educative intent and value) and its implications for individuals’ identity, subjectivity, agency, learning, and “membership” within the policing community. The literature revealed that police training acts as a formally sanctioned vehicle for police culture, subcultures, and D/discourses. This is complicated by (a) the predominance of pedagogical training practices that support a trainer-centred approach and standardised lecture format for training, (b) police training focusing predominantly on law enforcement at the cost of higher- rder conceptual skills, and (c) Australian and international studies of police management education which reveal a subculture resistant to theoretical analysis and critical reflection, and a set of unconscious and unchallengeable assumptions regarding police work, conduct, and leadership. The agenda of Australian and New Zealand police services for police to become a profession provides a backdrop to this research and findings.