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Teacher autonomy in the era of New Public Management
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
2015 (English)In: Nordic journal of studies in educational policy, Vol. 1, 28144Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how upper secondary school teachers perceive and respond to the consequences fortheir professional autonomy of recent school reforms and restructurings. Based on empirical material frominterviews of 119 teachers in three studies conducted between 2002 and 2014, the findings indicate thatteacher autonomy has been reduced by school reforms and restructurings since the late 1980s. Regardless oftheir individual aims, these reforms have collectively created a power structure that distributes power to thestate, municipalities, principals and the school market, including ‘customers’, that is, students, at the expenseof teacher autonomy. Teacher agency follows certain policies at the discourse level, such as decentralisationand management by objectives and results, but in practice seems to be based on individuals’ and groups’capacities to exploit opportunities for agency in combination with more or less facilitative management andorganisation cultures. This development is multifaceted and varies locally, but the overall trend can bedescribed as a shift from occupational to organisational professionalism and from ‘licensed’ to ‘regulated’autonomy but emphasising the influence of market logics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
co-action publisher , 2015. Vol. 1, 28144
Keyword [en]
teacher autonomy, school reform, New Public Management, upper secondary school
National Category
Pedagogical Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107928DOI: 10.3402/nstep.v1.28144OAI: diva2:849743
Available from: 2015-08-31 Created: 2015-08-31 Last updated: 2015-08-31Bibliographically approved

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