ERIC Number: ED328991
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Empowerment: Three Perspectives.
To help administrators understand the organizational, social, and ideological forces impeding their efforts to empower teachers, this paper provides three critiques of teacher empowerment proposals from functionalist, structural Marxist, and poststructural perspectives. Although the 1980s reform reports promote a type of empowerment that accords teachers higher status and allows them more governance responsibility, the reports do not recommend giving teachers power over what schools teach. Such reports assume that policy makers will regulate curriculum by controlling the tests used to evaluate school outcomes. The three critiques suggest that the mainstream teacher empowerment proposals offer teachers neither the means nor the entitlement to redirect school mission. Such proposals actually limit teachers' role in shaping mission; teachers are allowed control over curriculum delivery, but not curriculum content. Under these auspices, teacher empowerment becomes a method to improve schools' productivity--a mission supporting schools' role in perpetuating the political economy's inequities. Teacher empowerment, designed to promote the conservative agenda, is at best severely constrained. At worst, it is a mystification attempting to win teachers' support while simultaneously restricting opportunities to gain power through self-directed or organized resistance. (66 references) (MLH)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Conservatism, Curriculum Development, Democratic Values, Education Work Relationship, Elementary Secondary Education, Human Capital, Organizational Theories, Participative Decision Making, Productivity, Social Stratification, Teacher Participation, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Southern Regional Council on Educational Administration (Atlanta, GA, November 11-13, 1990).