Curriculum control: The cost to teacher professionalism

Year: 2001

Author: Sachs, Judyth

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In recent times there have been attempts at the national and state level to develop curriculum frameworks, standards frameworks and other externally imposed structures and processes to curtail the level of autonomy and judgement of teachers. These attempts at controlling what essentially comprise significant aspects of teacher professionalism are to be strongly resisted. In this paper 1 examine the effects of centralised curriculum control on teacher professionalism, specifically 1 will focus on the extent to which such initiatives restrict teachers making decisions about context, resources and pedagogy. I argue that the increasing tendency to control teachers' work, to define what constitutes professional knowledge and judgement is eroding teacher' professionalism in general and professional identity in part. I will explore the residual, dominant and emergent effects (Williams, 198 1) of curriculum control on teachers and suggest ways in which teachers might mobile to resist such forms of intrusion onto their areas of professional experience.