23 SES 02 C, Policy Reforms and Teachers’ Work (Part 1)
Paper Session to be continued in 23 SES 03 C
In the last decade great efforts have been made in many countries to build education systems that are hoped to enable raised quality, often expressed in terms of better results and higher goal attainment. One of the most highlighted keys for a positive development is the crucial role of the teacher. As it is said in central educational policy documents: ‘Teachers matter’ and ‘Nothing beats a good teacher’ (OECD 2005, 2009; National Agency for Education 2010). To understand what those intentions might mean, how they are interpreted and enacted by different educational actors and on different arenas, research is needed.
The overriding aim with this paper is to study how the so called advanced teacher reform that was decided by the Swedish government in 2013 is enacted at a local level (U 2012). More specifically, we have chosen to study the local process of application over the period of a few years in a middle-sized Swedish municipality. In addition to this, the aim is to discuss how different interpretations can be understood in terms of professionalization and professionalism. To operationalize this aim the analysis is guided by three research questions:
What desired teacher abilities are constructed in the local enactment of the national reform?
How does the language/formulations made by the local authorities influence the language/formulation made by the applicants?
What are the implications of the advanced teacher reform in relation to professionalism and professionalization?
To enable an analysis of the local ‘doing’ in the light of the broader surrounding context the study combines different theories. With a focus on local enactment the first theoretical starting point stresses the importance of not viewing policy as a one-sided process of implementation, but rather understanding policy work as an ongoing process of ‘doing’ that implies interaction within and between several levels (Ball et al 2012; Bergh 2010; Bergh & Englund 2014). From this understanding, the policy enacted at the local level is of central interest. However, as what happens at the local level has to be understood in relation to a wider context, earlier research that has focused on what kind of problem/-s the national advanced teacher reform intend to solve provides an important background (Bergh & Englund, work in progress). Furthermore, as a central knowledge interest is to analyse linguistic changes a theoretical understanding is needed that makes that possible. Therefore, speech-act theory as developed by Quentin Skinner (1988a) is used to interpret individual texts in their communicative contexts, to understand the conventions imprinted in them, and the possible strength of certain new concepts. As Skinner asserts, there are no ‘histories of concepts as such, there can only be histories of their use in argument’ (1988b, p 283). One example is how the concept of formative assessment over time has shown to be more and more frequently used in the studied applications. Thirdly, in order to contribute knowledge on the implication of the advanced teacher reform for teachers’ work and the evaluation of teaching the study makes a distinction between professionalization and professionalism (Englund 1996). We characterize professionalization as related to the autonomy, authority and status of the profession, an external perspective. Teacher professionalism, on the other hand, is seen as a sociopolitical and moral project, concerned with the internal and, in a broad sense, pedagogical quality of teaching as a profession.
The aim is operationalized through analysis of how the language is used by local actors, as expressed in written form in authoritative local documents and complemented by interviews, in application templates and in applications from teachers who apply for a position as advanced teacher.
Ball, Stephen J; Maguire, Meg & Braun Anette (2012): How Schools do Policy: Policy Enactments in Secondary Schools. London: Routledge. Bergh, Andreas (2010): Vad gör kvalitet med utbildning? Om kvalitetsbegreppets skilda innebörder och dess konsekvenser för utbildning [What does Quality do to Education? Different Meanings of the Concept of Quality and their Consequences for Education]. Örebro: Örebro Studies in Education, 29. Bergh, Andreas & Englund, Tomas (work in progress): Professionella förstelärare? Om den svenska förstelärarreformen [Professional Advanced Teachers. About the Swedish Advanced Teacher Reform]. Bergh, Andreas & Englund, Tomas (2014): A changed language of education with new actors and solutions: The authorization of promotion and prevention programmes in Swedish schools. Journal of Curriculum Studies 46(6), p 778–797. Englund, Tomas (1996): Are professional teachers a good thing? In Ivor Goodson & Andy Hargreaves eds.: Teachers Professional Lives pp. 75-87. London: Falmer press. National Agency for Education (2010): “Inget slår en skicklig lärare” En dokumentation av sex konferenser 2010 – tio föreläsares perspektiv. Stockholm: Skolverket. OECD (2005): Teachers matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers. OECD (2009): Evaluating and rewarding the quality of teachers. U 2012/4904/S. Karriärvägar m.m. i fråga om lärare i skolväsendet. Stockholm: Utbildningsdepartementet. Skinner, Quentin (1988a): Language and social change. In James Tully, ed: Meaning and Context. Quentin Skinner and his Critics, p 119-132. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Skinner, Quentin (1988b): Motives, intentions and the interpretation of texts. In James Tully, ed: Meaning and Context. Quentin Skinner and his Critics, p 68-78. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.