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ERIC Number: ED513833
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 282
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-2185-3
Improving Classroom Practices from the inside out: A Case Study of Teacher Agency in School Reform in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Brito, Quirino de
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
This dissertation is about the dynamics between systemic educational reform and teachers' efforts to improve classroom practices. It examines teachers' responsibility in the context of school change by focusing on how teachers interpret, adapt, and transform practice to make it relevant both to teaching and to the reality of learning in classrooms. Relying on case study methodologies this research aims at providing interpretation for policy implementation differentials among school teachers trying to improve the quality of municipal schools in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the third largest city in the country. For example, using elementary school teachers as the unit of analysis, this study reveals that successful implementation may be attributed to teachers' commitment to the task at hand, a strong desire to take charge of their learning, and a self-imposed "ethos" of collaboration and participation. By taking a close look at the creative ways teachers reach out to their learning communities in search of solutions for classroom problems, this study expands the notion of "teacher agency" in educational reform in two significant ways: first, it recasts the agency of school teachers in a wider network of practice that is embedded in the practitioner's desire to change curriculum and pedagogy. By doing this, it re-conceptualizes human agency by pushing its boundaries beyond the confines of politics. Second, it defines the plasticity and the limits that agency imposes on the ability and the skills of teachers to undertake the challenge of school reform by transforming themselves and improving the realities of teaching and learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil