23 SES 10 B, Innovative Educators And The Politics Of Professionalisation
In the analysis of school modernization in France, a distinction has to be established between official discourses covered by media (PISA, school time scheduling) and structural changes related to European recommendations and travelling policies (basic skills, education action zones, self-evaluation of schools). Because the State is incapable of designing a national strategy, the reform is a step by step process which provokes misunderstandings and resistances at local level. The incoherence of political choices balancing between reformism and conservatism, the underachievement of devolution, the lack of relationships between educational research and policy-making, the centralized and bureaucratic decision-making, the misrecognition of autonomy and initiatives inside schools have generated uncertainties and fears among French educators. Changes in working conditions raise concerns about missions and statuses, suffering among educators enduring violence and indiscipline, doubts about professional identities, avoidance and withdrawal behaviors, and sometimes civil disobedience. Even if some educators innovate, they feel powerless in a context of staff cuts and lack of support. Despite this loose-coupled regulation, educators become progressively aware of a changing world without understanding its stakes and rationality. However some of them are very active in school innovations and they develop networks and experience peer learning activities in professional communities.
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