01 SES 09, Learning from and with Colleagues & Network Meeting
This paper presents some of the initial results from a longitudinal project ”Crossroads - a longitudinal study of choices and values in teachers’ work trajectories”, financed by the Swedish Research Council in a three year project. It builds from a unique material: 87 graduates from one Teacher Education program were interviewed by mail at eight occasions regarding their work and lives, spanning from their graduation in 1993 through their careers until 2008. The informants have worked during a period of twenty years when major reforms have changed the frames and pre-conditions for teachers’ work (Carlgren & Klette, 2008; Houtsonen, et al., 2010), and thus for teachers’ roles, tasks and commitment. They also belong to a generation whose values and attitudes towards work seem to differ from the ones before them (jfr Day et al, 2009; Stone- Johnsson, 2009). The purpose of the project is to describe, understand and explain the specific circumstances, attitudes and strategies that make teachers stay, leave or return to the teaching profession. The aim of this paper is to map key characteristics of the informants’ teacher experiences during 15 years.
In Sweden as well as in Europe, work life is under restructuring (Dovermark, 2004, Müller et al, 2007) which means that many teachers encounter new groups of students with different needs, as well as loss of status and public blaming of teachers for the perceived failures of schools. In Sweden, the educational system has undergone several reforms marked by a process of deregulation and decentralization, in short a transition from central bureaucratic governing by rules to a decentralized, flexible governing by objectives where market based solutions such as freedom of choice and competition prevail. Countries in Europe seem to move in a similar direction in terms of standardization and measurement (Lawn, 2011). Previous studies indicate that the demands that some of the demands produce defensive strategies among teachers that narrow the professional space, while some teachers are able to find strategies for preserving their professional space and autonomy (Lindqvist & Nordänger, 2007; Lindqvist, Nordänger & Landahl, 2009).
Carlgren, I. & Klette, K. (2008). Reconstructions of Nordic Teachers: Reform policies and teachers’ work during the 1990s. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 52(2), 117–133. Day, C. et.al. (2009). Committed for Life? Variations in Teacher’s Work, Lives and Effectiveness. In M. Bayer, et.al. (Eds.). Teachers’ Career Trajectories and Work Lives. pp. 49-71. London: Springer Dovermark, M. (2004). Ansvar – flexibilitet – valfrihet. En etnografisk studie om en skola i förändring. Diss.Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet Houtsonen, J., Czaplicka, M., Lindblad, S., Sohlberg, P. & Sugrue, C. (2010). Welfare State Restructuring in Education and its National Refractions. Finnish, Irish and Swedish Teachers’ Perceptions of Current Changes. Current Sociology 58(4), 597–622. Lawn, Martin (2011). Standardizing the European Education Policy Space. European Educational Research Journal, 10(2). Lindqvist, P. & Nordänger, U.K. (2007). Better safe than sorry? Risk and Educational Resarch. Educational Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1, March 2007, pp. 15-27. Lindqvist, P., Nordänger, U.K. & Landahl, J. (2009). Insurance and assurance – teachers’ strategies in the regimes of risk and audit, European Educational Research Journal, Volume 8, number 4 Müller, Jörg, Hernández, Fernando, Sancho, Juana, Creus, Amalia, Muntadas, Max, Larraín, Verónica, et al. (2007). Comparative overview: European Primary Teachers’ Work and Life under Restructuring. In J. Müller, F. Hernández, J. Sancho, A. Creus, M. Muntadas, V. Larraín & X. Giró (Eds.), European Schoolteachers work and life under restructuring: Professional experiences, knowledge and expertise in changing context [http://www.profknow.net/files/results/D04TeacherLifeWorkRestructuring.pdf]. Stone-Johnson, C. (2009). Regenerating Teachers In M. Bayer, U, Brinkjaer, H. Plauborg & S. Rolls (Eds.). Teachers’ Career Trajectories and Work Lives. pp. 179-203. London: Springer
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