01 SES 17 A, Ecosystems of Teacher Develoment Part 3
Symposium continued from 01 SES 16 A
In Lithuania, as in other Eastern European countries, since the Singing Revolution in 1989, educational change was extremely rapid and contradictory. It is meandering down between two different models of educational change – professional and production, as conceptualised by Dean Fink (Fink, 2016:13-21). Professional model is based on trust in people aiming to enhance professional capital (Fullan & Hargreaves, 2012). Professional capital of each country is its educational community – teachers, leaders, teacher trainers, researchers working collaboratively for the main mission - deep and meaningful learning of all students. Professional capital is the fundament of enhanced educational performance and sustained educational improvement as it unites individual professional dignity and responsibility, as well as collective responsibility at the system level for the enhancement of teaching profession. Production model is based on trust in forms, functions and procedures rather than people. In this model teachers considered to be a human resource rather than professionals, principals are just managers of production rather than leaders of learning and the results of production are easily counted students’ test scores (Fink, 2016:18). Narratives of 9 experienced teachers were studied using a life history approach (Goodson&Gill, 2011) which is blending personal subjective experience of research participants, researcher’s world view and experience with a wider social, political, historical context. The findings of this study reflect the tensions between educational policy and practice related to changing orientation of educational reforms: from humanistic goals towards instrumental and economic measures, from professional freedom towards meaningless regulations. Contradictive trajectories of educational change are represented not only in political decisions but in professional biographies of educators. Practitioners are becoming “objects” of policy requirements which affect their authentic professional lifes (Silova & Brehm, 2013). This paper reveals how constant and consistent professional learning, as well as trusting and supportive school culture is helping agentic teachers (Day, 2012, Priestley et al., 2015) to overcome external pressures and maintain their authentic professional life despite the predominance of production model in educational context of Lithuania. The tensions and contradictions between policy and practice make this ecosystem extremely fragile and vulnerable, limited and fragmented.
Fink, D. (Ed.) (2016). Trust and Verify. The Real Keys to School Improvement. London: UCL Institute of Education Press, University College; Goodson, I.F (2005). The Selected Work of Ivor F. Goodson. World Library of Educationalists. London: Routledge. Goodson, I.F.& Gill, S.R (2011). Narrative Pedagogy. Life History and Learning. New York : Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Hargreaves, A., and Fullan, M. (2012) Professional Capital: Transforming teaching in every school. New York: Teachers College Press. Pranckūnienė, E., Ruškus, J. (2016). The Lithuania Case: Faster than history but slower than a lifetime. In Fink, D. (Ed.) (2016). Trust and Verify. The Real Keys to School Improvement. UCL Institute of Education Press, University College, London. Priestly, M., Biesta, G., Robinson, S. (2015). Teacher Agency. An Ecological Approach. London:Bloomsbury. Silova,I.& Brehm,W.C. (2013). The Shifting Boundaries of Teacher Professionalism: Education Privatization(s) in the Post-Socialist Education Space In T. Seddon, J. Ozga, & J. Levin (Eds.). Educators, professionalism and politics: Global transitions, national spaces, and professional projects. New York: Routledge, p. 55-74. Timperley , H.S. (2011). Realizing the Power of Professional Learning. McGraw Hill: Open University Press.
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