ERIC Number: ED241496
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Role over Person: Justifying Teacher Action and Decisions. Research Series No. 135.
Competing norms for justifying actions and decisions in teaching and their effects on the curriculum and teacher learning are discussed. Interpreting teaching as a moral action, this paper argues that a personal orientation (personal practice, feeling, or beliefs) removes teacher action and decisions from the realm of objective and professional criteria for judging appropriateness. Personal reasons carry little weight in considering the wisdom of teacher actions and decisions. In teaching, appropriate actions or decisions are tied to the public realm, constrained by both facts and collective norms. Role orientation can be defined as endorsing and using collective criteria or justifying teacher actions and decisions by reference to larger contexts--colleagues, curriculum, accountability, and teacher ideas of effective practice that recognize publicly accepted criteria. Excerpts from interviews with 20 elementary school teachers are analyzed to identify teacher orientations (personal versus role) and justifications (emphasis on the teacher, the student, or the curriculum). Studies are reviewed that show the problematic effects of a personal orientation in teaching on the curriculum and teacher learning. It is suggested that a personal orientation cuts teaching off from its moral roots, affecting both teacher and student learning adversely. (Author/JD)
Descriptors: Accountability, Conformity, Decision Making, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Evaluation Criteria, Personal Autonomy, Reference Groups, Role Perception, Social Cognition, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Responsibility, Teacher Role
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($3.50).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.