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England: teachers’ work under conditions of constraint

Entretien avec Marylin OSBORN réalisé par Richard Wittorski
Marilyn Osborn
p. 103-118

Texte intégral

1Marylin Osborn, professeur émérite de l’université de Bristol, a dirigé de nombreux projets de recherche comparatifs internationaux et a publié de nombreux ouvrages sur le travail des enseignants, l’apprentissage des élèves et l’éducation des adultes. L’entretien a été réalisé par Richard Wittorski sous la forme d’un échange autour de thématiques définies par Pascal Roquet et Richard Wittorski avec l’auteur.

Question : vous avez beaucoup étudié l’évolution des conditions de travail des enseignants dans votre pays, en Angleterre. Pouvez-vous nous parler des effets produits par la réforme de l’éducation sur le travail enseignant ?

2Writing about the impact of recent educational reform on teacher’s work and sense of professional identity we often seem to infer that the constraints which operate on teacher professional autonomy are relatively new. However, teachers have long worked under conditions of constraint. The struggle for control over teachers and teacher’s work is a long-term rather than a new phenomen (Reynolds, 2005). Thus teachers “have always been under structural controls” (Reynolds & Smaller, 1997, p. 15) although there is a long history of teachers managing to mediate, accommodate and resist to state incursions into teaching and learning.

3While, from the 1930s and even earlier onwards many researchers and writers have argued that the affective and emotional dimensions of teaching are central, in practice teachers in both England and the US have often been besieged by external directives or controls which mitigate against these aspects of education (Waller, 1932). In the 1960’s and ’70s the English and American teachers studied by Lortie (1975) and Jackson (1968) accepted the legitimacy of the prescribed curriculum but saw their role as more than just implementing this. They were “moral agents’ as well, emphasising the social and personal development of children and the close connection between this and successful learning. For these teachers and those in English primary education studied in the ’80s by Nias (1989), the main rewards in teaching came from the affective dimension of classroom events, from children responding well and from being influenced by their teaching.

4It is clear that these values have long been deeply held by teachers. Yet at a time when school systems are being restructured to meet ever-increasing demands for accountability, for greater rationality and for technical competencies in teaching, these sources of professional satisfaction are under threat as never before (Hoyle & John, 1995).

5In England, for example, with the introduction of the National Curriculum, national assessment, the literacy and numeracy hours, a system of performance management, school inspection and the introduction more generally, of the values of the marketplace into education, it has become apparent that teachers are required to have an increasing range of more technical, cognitive and managerial skills which may come into conflict with more personal and moral dimensions of professional responsibility.

6The current range of professional responsibilities delineated by the English School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions of Employment Document are extensive. A classroom teacher’s professional duties are deemed to include planning and preparing courses and lessons, personalising teaching according to the needs of individual children, marking work and assessing, recording and reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.

7In addition they are responsible for a whole range of other activities, including the personal and social needs of pupils, advice and guidance on matters which include further education and future careers, keeping records and writing reports on the personal and social needs of pupils; communicating and consulting with the parents of the pupils, communicating and co-operating with persons or bodies outside the school; and participating in meetings. They are responsible for taking part in a scheme of performance management, and in some cases carrying out the performance management of other teachers, including responsibility for continuous professional development and in many cases, a range of other management and administrative tasks.

8The list of duties and requirements above cannot possibly fully represent the turbulent changes that have taken place in the last 25 years to the working life of the classroom teacher in England. Here I identify some of the principal changes which have taken place in English primary teachers’ attitudes to their work and in their practice as a result of recent policy changes and consider the significance of these changes for the teachers themselves, their pupils, their schools and for the education system and society as a whole. I am drawing principally upon the PACE (Primary, Assessment, Curriculum and Experience) study (outlined below) but also draw? upon a programme of comparative research on teachers in England, France and Denmark and on the work of researchers on teaching elsewhere.

9Comparative studies of teachers in England and France, carried out by myself and Patricia Broadfoot with French colleagues before and after major educational reforms, drew upon Hoyle’s conceptions of “restricted” and “extended” professionalism (Hoyle, 1974, 1980) to characterise the professional identities of primary teachers in England and France. (Broadfoot & Osborn, 1993 ; Broadfoot et al. 1996). To summarise briefly, our research suggested that French teachers had a narrower, more “restricted” and more classroom-focused conception of their role, which centred on what they saw as their responsibility for children’s academic progress. English teachers, in contrast, saw themselves as having a more wide-ranging, diffuse and “extended” set of responsibilities relating to work outside as well as inside the classroom, including extra-curricular and sometimes even community activities, all aspects of school relationships, accountability to parents, colleagues and the head-teacher. At each extreme, a French teacher’s perception of her role centred on “meeting one’s contractual responsibility”, whilst a typical English teacher characterized her role as “striving after perfection”. For some English teachers this meant a certain amount of conflict and confusion about their role and a sense that they were setting themselves, and being set, goals they could not hope to fulfil.

10This research suggested that before the Education Reform Act (1988), although English teachers were becoming increasingly constrained on all sides, they nevertheless believed in their autonomy (in contrast with French teachers who believed they had very little autonomy), and saw it as central to their “extended” role that they would be able to decide for themselves both what they would teach and how they would change it.

11A later much larger scale national research project, the PACE (Primary Asssessment, Curriculum and Experience) study carried out with a team of colleagues, studied 150 teachers and headteachers in 48 schools in eight English local education authorities over the course of eight years following major educational reforms (Osborn et al., 2000). The study focused in more depth on the perspectives and practices of nine teachers in nine case study schools for each year of the study (54 classrooms and teachers being reported over the whole study). All teachers were interviewed and in addition the 54 studied in more depth were observed extensively in their classrooms throughout the study.

12The study explored the changes that might have taken place in primary teachers’ perceptions and definitions of their work and professional responsibilities as well as in their professional practice. It also examined the way in which national policies for teachers had been mediated by teachers’ perspectives, cultures and behaviour and, in particular, their perceptions of their professional responsibility I examine the context for change, and the impact of this on teacher’s working lives and sense of professional identity.

Question : Pouvez-vous préciser un peu plus le contexte de changement du travail enseignant en Angleterre, notamment depuis l’introduction de l’education reform act de 1988 ?

13Educationalists in other countries are frequently amazed that there was no tradition of a national curriculum in England and Wales until the 1988 Education Reform Act was implemented. Historically England has been almost unique in having no national curriculum and teachers, particularly at primary and lower secondary level, had enjoyed considerable freedom in respect of both what was taught and how it was taught since they were constrained neither by a formal curriculum nor by the requirements of a formal examination system. All this changed dramatically when the 1988 Education Reform Act, a policy initiative almost unprecedented in its ambition and scope was introduced with the aim of raising teacher expectations about pupil achievement. The introduction of the National Curriculum was complemented by provision for a standard and comprehensive assessment system with children undergoing national assessments at the ages of seven, eleven, fourteen and sixteen. These reforms and the multiple changes which followed them represented a profound shift in the way in which primary teachers’ work and role were defined by government policy directives. The changes included the introduction of new forms of management into schools, new forms of evaluation of teachers’ work, and the infiltration of the market place into education.

14When the New Labour government came into power in May 1997, the White Paper Excellence in Schools (DFEE, 1997) was published and it was evident that the pace of new education policy making was to continue. However, there was a reappraisal of focus and priorities, and this resulted in a new concern for social inclusion and an ever-increasing emphasis on the basics of literacy and numeracy. In 1999 plans for a revised National Curriculum were published. This Curriculum 2000 was the result of much more extensive consultation with teachers than previous versions. However, it was not as “slimmed down” as previously anticipated, and still gave relatively little scope to teachers to exercise their professional judgement.

15New Labour also increased pedagogic prescription through establishing a compulsory framework for literacy and numeracy hours in primary schools, introducing a more demanding process of inspection of schools by OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education of Great Britain) and the “naming and shaming” of failiing schools. These developments were further reinforced by the gradual development of target-setting systems for schools and local education authorities and the linking of teacher’s classroom performance to salary enhancement through “performance management”. Taken as a whole, these various policy initiatives have ensured that primary school teaching has become increasingly framed by requirements and pressures that are external to the school itself. Paradoxically, in terms of finance, primary schools have been given increased autonomy to manage their own budgets. Unlike most other European countries, schools are also free to recruit their own teachers and non-teaching staff although, until recently, the staff remained the employees of the Local Education Authority.

16Since the Coalition government came to power in 2010 a number of further measures have been introduced which may well have the effect of exerting greater control over teachers’ work while claiming to give greater autonomy to schools. These include pressure on schools to apply for “academy” status, which will bring them out of the control (and also the support) of Local Education Authorities. Schools who do this are funded centrally and have greater control still over their finances. The evidence suggests, however, that teachers working in such schools are coming under increasing pressure to meet ever more demanding targets in order to demonstrate the success of this new government initiative. The Coalition government has also introduced changes to the process of school inspection carried out by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) and has made it more difficult for schools to be identified as “outstanding” and correspondingly easier for them to be identified as “requiring improvement”. There also seems to be evidence that such schools are then being highly pressurised to become academies.

Question : Que pouvez-vous dire des effets de ces réformes sur l’identité professionnelle des enseignants et la façon dont à la fois ils vivent leur travail et ils se vivent comme professionnels ?

17Evidence from the PACE research (Osborn et al. 2000) showed that teachers felt overwhelmed by the “avalanche” of policy initiatives of the late 1980s and 1990s. Their responses suggested that they were increasingly besieged by critics and demands for accountability from outsiders, especially parents, whilst losing little of their deeply held sense of moral accountability to pupils. Many teachers experienced high levels of increasing stress as the growing proliferation of external requirements left them less and less space for personal professional discretion.

18As one teacher put it:

“There’s so much pressure now from paperwork and record-keeping and from attending meetings after school. I have no time to myself. I live, eat, drink and sleep school. We are expected to give an awful lot more of ourselves than other professions yet we are not given any credit.”

19For many, the effects of this increase in pressure and constraint were exacerbated by their belief that what they were being asked to do was not educationally desirable or in the best interest of their pupils. The increasingly high profile and externally controlled national assessments provided one of the most widespread causes of such conflict. However for some teachers, particularly those working with pupils from difficult social and economic backgrounds, the National Curriculum itself caused stress and frustration since teachers felt it could not meet such children’s particular needs.

20One Year 6 teacher said:

“Well I don’t know the children any more. […] You feel that you are under this obligation to get work done and as a consequence […] This notion that we’ve got a certain amount to get through is just pressurizing – for the teacher and for the children. It’s difficult to include the education of the whole child because of it.”

21Significant changes also characterised teachers’ work and values (Acker, 1999 ; Campbell, 1996 ; Troman, 1996; Webb & Vulliamy, 1996 ; Woods et al., 1997). In the PACE research we reported the growing sense of resignation and instrumentalism of many as they found themselves constrained in terms of curriculum content and teaching methods. In the media, teachers were subjected to a barrage of criticism and to what Ball (1994) has referred to as a «discourse of derision». For many teachers this shift from professional autonomy to contractual responsibility as the basis for accountability was associated for many teachers with increased stress, value conflict and reduced job satisfaction.

22As one Year 6 teacher put it:

“I would like to leave tomorrow if I could, I used to love teaching. I can genuinely say I used to love teaching and now I don’t feel that I’m actually communicating with the children in the way I was when I went into teaching in the first place.”

23They began to feel bound by the demand for “delivery of performance” beyond all other considerations. Further, they felt that the more «affective» side of teaching – the sense of vocation and investment of self – was being undermined by pressure to become “expert technicians” in transmitting predefined knowledge and skills to their pupils (Hargreaves, 1999 ; Jeffrey, 1999 ; Nias, 1989). The policy emphasis of successive governments on education as a “commodity” to be delivered and measured was at odds with many teachers’ views of education as being fundamentally concerned with personal development.

“My workload has increased enormously and the paperwork. I spend an hour after day on paperwork, another hour on marking and planning… My enjoyment is not so great.
I am tired all the time. I feel I’m doing a bit of everything, not doing anything properly.”

24However this teacher still derived satisfaction out of working with children:

“I still get satisfaction out of working with the children. I wouldn’t go for a job out of the classroom.”

Question : en réaction à ces réformes, il semble que les enseignants anglais ont développé par exemple des formes de solidarité et de travail collectif dans les établissements. Cela caractérise-t-il le nouveau professionnalisme des enseignants ?

25For a considerable number of teachers, the worst effects of the changes described above were mediated by a growth in collaboration and collegiality. This had often been a strength within primary schools, in particular (Nias et al., 1989), and in the circumstances of the early 1990s teachers increasingly felt the need to work together to cope with the new challenges and its effects. Thus curriculum planning, whole-school co-ordination, preparation for inspection and external communication, as well as teaching itself, were increasingly likely to be characterised by teachers pooling their different knowledge and skills in complementary ways. At their best, these developments were highly creative and empowering, resulting in some or all teachers in the school feeling a new sense of professional achievement.

26This collaboration might be seen as a central element of what Eric Hoyle has called the “new professionalism” (Hoyle, 1986) a term which was taken up by other researchers to describe “new professional” teachers who often accommodated to the reforms but also sometimes contested or resisted them (Troman, 1995 ; Woods et al., 1997).

27These creative responses to change were more widely documented in the PACE study. We suggested that while teachers adopted a range of strategies in response to change, which ranged from “incorporation” to “resistance” to “retreatism” (Osborn et al., 2000, p. 67), some of these teachers could be seen as “creative mediators”. They were able to take active control of the changes and put them into practice in a creative, albeit selective, way (Osborn et al., 1996, 2000). The changes were filtered through their values so that they took on board those aspects which more closely accorded with their own beliefs and values as teachers and worked with them creatively.

28As one teacher of a Year 5 and 6 class put it:

“You have to accept that you never know it all, be open to new things and go on learning. You need to be prepared to take risks and have confidence to do what you see is necessary in your class. It’s that skill: to have the power of your own conviction, to create the right environment and know where you want to go […] What I got at the end of the year was phenomenal in terms of children’s response, but I had to take risks, not just stick to papers and worksheets, and be prepared to follow the needs of the children at certain times.”

29Other research, such as Woods (1995) and Woods and Jeffrey (1996), has documented the skill and creativity of teachers in protecting their values, imagination and engagement with pupils despite the National Curriculum and other requirements. Common to all these accounts of creative teaching is the ability to make choices, to be adaptable and flexible, to see alternatives, although working within constraints, and to have the confidence and motivation to put values into practice. These teachers were able to resist pressures to become technicians carrying out the dictates of others and to avoid the trap of over-conscientiousness (Campbell et al., 1993).

30Examples of such developments have also been documented by other related studies such as Richards (1998), who refers to the confident domestication of the National Curriculum in small rural primary schools, with a pragmatic adaptation of policy directives to their own particular classrooms. Assessment understanding and expertise have grown (Craft, 1996 ; Gipps et al., 1995 ; Torrance & Pryor, 1998). Nixon et al. (1997) also refer to the emergence of a new professional whose values and practices represent a creative incorporation of new requirements into core professional values. Hargreaves (1994) links this to organisational development.

31However, in some cases teachers’ experience of an often more autocratic school management, produced contrived collegiality (Hargreaves, 1991) and a contractual, rather than a professional, engagement. This was particularly the case when collaboration was managerially imposed in a top-down way and was centred on producing documentation and paper-work rather than collaboration more directly related to teaching. These teachers were collaborating under constraint (Woods et al., 1997) and often felt that the enforced requirement to attend constant meetings and take part in managed collaborative cultures (Webb & Vulliamy, 1996) was threatening their strong sense of moral, personal and professional responsibility to the children in their class. Other studies, such as that of Menter et al. (1996), have talked of teachers’ fragmented identity, torn between a model of a responsible and accountable professional and private experiences of bitterness, anxiety and overload. A number of researchers have related the erosion of primary school teachers’ commitment to their repositioning and commodification within a more managerial labour process (Ozga, 2000).

32Overall we found that where the individual teacher, or the school as a whole, lacked the confidence to engage in the “creative mediation” of external policy directives, or where individual or personal circumstances made this difficult, the picture was likely to be one of conflict, stress and disillusion. Thus, whilst some teachers were able to generate a creative response to the new, very challenging educational environment, others, often for reasons to do with personal biographies or the challenges posed by particular pupil intakes, were depressed and disheartened by it. Some, skilful, knowledgeable, committed and confident, simply became tired of the struggle or were unwilling to compromise. Many experienced teachers and headteachers took early retirement or left the profession under sickness schemes. Whilst the reconfiguration of the profession has continued through new training, appraisal and pay structures, our evidence showed that younger or more recently trained teachers accommodated to the new structures and requirements and began to take them for granted as “the way things are”. Other researchs on teachers and professional status showed an increasing acceptance and accommodation to many central government directives (Hargreaves et al., 2007). However, recent Coalition government initiatives have led to a new wave of teacher dis-satisfaction and demoralisation.

33Although teachers in England have traditionally believed more strongly in their professional autonomy than teachers in many other countries (Broadfoot et al., 1993) the research evidence suggests that teacher mediation of external directives is a feature of teaching as a profession which transcends national and cross-cultural differences. Darmanin (1990) and Hargreaves (1994) provide evidence of this in Malta and Canada, respectively. In France, for example, following imposed reform teachers talked of the need to “internalize the changes, to be selective”, and of the importance of “taking the best from the reforms, but using their own judgement in the end” (Osborn, 1996). This is not restricted to the Western world. Angeline Barrett (2005, 2007) has shown how teachers working in the low-income context of sub-Saharan Africa construct their professional identity in relation to their working context and how, like teachers in many high income countries, they will mediate and adapt the implementation of new policies and educational ideas according to their educational values and their particular contemporary situation and circumstances.

34Returning to the PACE study, over the six years of reform it documented, the powerful combination of National Curriculum directives and public rhetoric on the one hand, and national assessment and OFSTED inspection requirements on the other (Jeffrey & Woods, 1996), left little room for individual teachers or schools to redefine what was to be learned, when and to what standard. Discretion concerning time, space and control over the content of learning was increasingly denied to both teachers and pupils. Indeed, the progressive reduction of both teacher and learner autonomy is arguably the most pervasive and significant result of the policy agenda that was launched by the Education Reform Act 1988 and which has continued almost non-stop ever since.

35The findings reveal a clear shift away from teacher commitment to “constructivist” models of learning, towards new understandings framed by a perception of teaching and learning in terms of the delivery and incorporation of an established body of knowledge. Whilst important continuities with the past should be acknowledged (Alexander, 1997) the evidence suggests that there were also significant changes in classroom practice.

36The PACE study found a situation in which the curriculum was increasingly strongly “classified”, in Bernstein’s sense of an explicit division between subjects (Bernstein, 1996). Classrooms were also increasingly strongly “framed”, in that teachers’ discretion over how to teach was progressively diminishing and this structuring was being relayed on to pupils. Finally, assessment was becoming increasingly categorical, regular and high-stakes as requirements for accountability and performance measures became more prominent and explicit.

37The potential effects of the trend towards whole-class teaching, teacher instruction, subject timetabling and ability grouping were thus reinforced by an assessment system which increasingly commodified achievement, shifting the educational balance in favour of cognition rather than an affective dimension, and emphasised product rather than process. The result is an increasingly pressured classroom life, permeated by an instrumental focus on pupil performance (Osborn et al., 2000 ; Pollard et al., 2000).

38It would be wrong to assume, however, that the picture of change has simply been one of teachers accommodating to the requirements placed upon them. Policy initiatives are not translated wholesale into school and classroom practice, but rather are subject to a series of mediations which are the product of successive interpretations and reinterpretations of them by actors at various levels of the system (Ball, 1994). Osborn et al. (2000) also highlights the way in which teachers had become “policy-makers in practice” striving in particular to protect their pupils from what they perceived to be the worst effects of recent policy changes. They also document a range of changes and strategies at school level.

39In seeking to understand teachers’ different responses to recent policy initiatives and the significance of these differences, the issue of professional motivation is crucial. The PACE research documented the gradual movement from a covenant-based professionalism, linked to intrinsic satisfaction, to a contractual, performance-based motivation, driven by the demands of external accountability and assessment. We hypothesised that this is likely to lead to a decline in teachers’ sense of moral, self-imposed accountability and commitment. Although largely indefinable, such facets of professionalism are nevertheless fundamentally important and have a significant effect on the quality of the classroom experience of pupils (Pollard et al., 2000).

Question : ce qui fonde le sentiment d’être un enseignant professionnel ne change-t-il pas peu à peu du fait de ces réformes pour passer d’une conception de l’enseignant facilitateur des apprentissages à une conception de l’enseignant garant d’une performance?

40The diagram which follows summarises this discussion of the significance of these policy initiatives set in motion in the England of the late 1980s and 1990s and continued in the 21st century for the nature and quality of teachers’ professional motivation and practice. The diagram characterises this shift from a “professional covenant” model of teaching based on personal and individual accountability and responsibility which sees teachers as facilitators of individual learning to one which is based on “performance” which emphasises defined outcomes and prescribed bodies of knowledge.

41Thus recent years have witnessed increasing central specification of the range of competencies to be achieved in Initial Teacher Training and hence, of the “inputs” to the education system. They have witnessed too, the growing powers of OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education) and the imposition of a comprehensive inspection system based on a framework that defines what constitutes “quality” in educational “processes”. Last but not least, teachers are subject to the control of externally imposed definitions of “outputs” through the publication of league tables of pupil results. Moreover, as has already been suggested, the system of “performance management” now in place in schools with radical reforms to teachers’ pay and career structure are also based on the assumption that it is both possible and desirable to judge an individual teacher’s performance in relation to explicit criteria. Thus teachers, like pupils, are increasingly being required to respond to a “performance”-oriented system of education based on external measures of quality. Both teachers’ working lives and pupils’ learning experiences is increasingly the subject of formal, “categorical” assessments (see in appendix a figure that displays some of these issues in contrastive ways for analytic purposes, although of course the situation is more complex than this device allows).

42Other studies of teachers have also found teachers talking of a lack of trust in teachers, and a feeling of being “undervalued” by government. Teachers’ comments in a 2007 study of teacher status frequently referred to “targets”, testing, SATs or OFSTED as being associated with the low status of teachers. As one teacher commented:

43The continuous reform since the 80s has undermined teachers and the status of the profession. The constant pressure to “do better” has made both teachers and the public perceive teaching as a failing profession. (Hargreaves et al. (2007, p. 114).

44Thus teachers, especially in England, have become subject to a growing “performance” model of practice, which seeks to govern not only the inputs and processes but also the outputs of education (McNess, Broadfoot, & Osborn, 2003). These pressures operate to a greater or lesser extent in the other European countries studied and are likely to become more intense (Elliott, 1996 ; Levin, 1998). Elliot argues that this new emphasis on “performativity” as a policy device is not simply or even mainly about raising standards, but rather plays a central role in “changing the rules which shape educational thought and practice […] part of a language game which serves the interests of power and legitimates those interests in terms of the performativity criterion” (1996, p. 16). There is evidence that this “policy epidemic” is continuing to spread to other national systems with issues of effectiveness and performance becoming more prominent (Van Zanten & Klette, 2000 ; Rasmussen, 2000). The choice for education systems in the future may be between what Ball (1999) calls the “authentic” teacher whose practice is based on the values of “service” and a shared moral language that provides for reflection, dialogue and debate and the “reformed” teacher whose practice is based upon the achievement of targets and the calculation of “costs” in relation to outputs.

45In summary I would argue that in many respects the work of the teacher is less autonomous and is subject to increasing managerialism from above. The teachers’ role has shifted from that of relatively autonomous semi-professional towards that of skilled worker with technical expertise or “new professional”, depending on whose perception is foremost. Recent reforms in England have required teachers to respond to a «performance»-orientated system of education based on external measures of quality. With recent Coalition government changes and recent pronouncements by the Education secretary and the new Head of Ofsted, who has been highly critical of teachers and schools, I am feeling less optimistic than I was five years ago about the extent to which teachers will be able to maintain a sense of professionally autonomy. In this sense, returning to the theme of your special issue, they could be said to be “de-professionalised”.

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Constrasting “professional covenant” and “performance” models of teaching

Adapted from Osborn et al. (2000)

“Professional covenant model” “Contractual performance”model’
Management style “Invisible management” with relative professional autonomy “Visible management” with relative professional regulation
Organisational form Professional, with flat management structure. Control through self-regulation, socialisation and internalisation of norms Mechanistic, with hierarchical structure and bureaucracy. Standardisation for control and co-ordination
Management style Collegiate, with emphasis on proficiency, dialogue and consensus. Informality in relationships Managerial, with emphasis on efficiency and target setting for results. Greater formality in relationships
Teacher roles Teachers as facilitators, with affective dimensions seen as intrinsic to the teaching role Teachers as instructors and evaluators, with emphasis on cognitive and managerial skills
Teacher professionalism Professional covenant based on trust, and commitment to education as a form of personal development. Confidence and sense of fulfilment and spontaneity in teaching Professionalism as the fulfilment of a contract to deliver education, which is seen as a commodity for individuals and a national necessity for economic growth. Less confidence, fulfilment and spontaneity in teaching
Teacher accountability Personal and “moral” accountability External and contractual accountability, backed by inspection
Whole school co-ordination Relative autonomy and informal teacher collaboration Formal school planning with ”managed” collegiality
Economic costs Expensive, because of sophisticated teacher education and time-consuming school practices Cheaper, because of more explicit teacher training and systematised school practices
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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Marilyn Osborn, « England: teachers’ work under conditions of constraint », Recherche et formation, 72 | 2013, 103-118.

Référence électronique

Marilyn Osborn, « England: teachers’ work under conditions of constraint », Recherche et formation [En ligne], 72 | 2013, mis en ligne le 11 mars 2014, consulté le 20 novembre 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/rechercheformation.2049

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Marilyn Osborn

University of Bristol

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