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ERIC Number: EJ1108261
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0272
"Walking a Fine Line": Teachers' Perception of Curricular Autonomy in Estonia, Finland and Germany
Erss, Maria; Kalmus, Veronika; Autio, Tero Henrik
Journal of Curriculum Studies, v48 n5 p589-609 2016
The purpose of this paper is to comparatively investigate the professional autonomy of upper secondary school teachers in three European countries in interpreting and implementing curricula. The paper focuses on teachers' experiences, and their perceptions of their autonomy and the control exercised over them in the global era of neoliberal education reforms. Semi-structured teacher interviews from Estonia, Finland and Germany (n = 33) were used to ascertain teachers' professional roles in different political contexts. Despite the common economically motivated pressures on school systems and teachers, the responses of nation-states and teachers vary. While German education reforms have been aimed mainly at increased standardization of education, Estonian and Finnish reforms have also emphasized school autonomy and the empowerment of teachers through school curriculum development. Even the Bavarian curriculum for gymnasia, one of the most prescriptive curricula in Germany, since 2008, has promised increased autonomy to teachers. Nevertheless, as the cases of Bavarian and Estonian curricula show, the autonomy-stressing rhetoric of a curriculum can be accompanied by teachers' perceived lack of autonomy. Moreover, teachers' willingness to endorse and enact curricula depends on their perceived social status and involvement in educational decision-making.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Estonia; Finland; Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A