Teachers doing what they're told?: the fate of centrally mandated change.

Year: 2000

Author: EDWARDS, B

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this paper I will be reporting the findings of a twenty month study by an insider researcher of a case study secondary school. The focus of the research is the response teachers make to centrally mandated curriculum change, in this case the Curriculum and Standards Framework in Victoria. A model which might be explanatory of teacher responses to such mandated changes will be presented which employs Bourdieu's concept of habitus, Ball and Bowe's school responses as teachers' prior stances and Michel de Certeau's tactics. The study seeks to amplify the ways in which centrally determined and mandated policy is mediated by the teachers who operate within local contexts which are informed and shaped by wider historical, current and personal contexts.

The teachers are shown to have choices which might be represented by forms of agency described as self-bounded, other-bounded and authentic. Responses which display authentic agency will be deeply heuristic, hold ethical obligations paramount and value theoretical pragmatism.