Thanks for this post. I agree with a lot of what you suggest about the impact of NSS and top-down approaches like curriculum regulation and inspection. I don’t favour your prescription of ‘simple’ theories (chosen by you). To me that seems like another ‘provider’ approach. Why not look at what good teachers do and how they innovate? In my experience they are thoughtful, committed and observant people who make usually incremental and occasionally radical changes in their practice with learners. They will usually work within constraints even as they seek to change them. They will learn within their networks and especially from colleagues and may occasionally seek training or look for writings and even theories to help explain their experiences and possibly change their practice. But the study of theory will come from the grounded perspective of practice and that is complex rather than simple.
Anyway, enough – I thank you for making me think about something I really should blog.