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Decision-making and control: perceived autonomy of teachers in Germany and Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3699-8610
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
Univ Dublin, Sch Educ, Trinity Coll, Dublin, Ireland.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 306-325Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Teacher autonomy has become an increasingly popular research topic over the past decade, reflecting wider national and global education trends. In this light, this article investigates and compares the perceptions of German and Swedish teachers concerning their professional autonomy. We analyse teachers' perceptions using a grid, and view teacher autonomy as a multidimensional phenomenon taking place in different domains (educational, social, developmental and administrative) and at different levels (classroom, school, profession). The findings show that the teachers interviewed in Germany and Sweden value autonomy in various domains and dimensions differently, even if there also are many similarities. In instruction, that is, the educational autonomy domain, they perceive themselves to be very autonomous, in particular in relation to choices of content and method. Autonomous work in the classroom arena is also seen as the very core of the teaching profession. Overall, German teachers perceive themselves to be significantly involved in more areas of their work, and they refer much more to decisions which are to be made, whereas their Swedish colleagues are more concerned about control. Finally, we discuss the findings in relation to different nation-specific forms of extended or restricted autonomy teacher autonomy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2019. Vol. 51, no 3, p. 306-325
Keywords [en]
Teacher autonomy, control, decision-making, Sweden, Germany
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-382811DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2018.1482960ISI: 000464726000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-382811DiVA, id: diva2:1314140
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2019-05-07 Created: 2019-05-07 Last updated: 2019-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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