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ERIC Number: EJ1153971
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0161-956X
U.S. Teachers as Policy Protagonists in Digital Public Spaces?
Robert, Sarah A.
Peabody Journal of Education, v92 n4 p521-536 2017
Teachers engage with policies far beyond the confines of their classroom and seemingly unrelated to their classroom practice, stretching the parameters of theories such as street-level bureaucracy (Lipsky, 2010; Weatherly & Lipsky, 1977) and doing policy in schools (Ball, Maguire, & Braun, 2012). This was observed in ethnographic studies and analyses, suggesting a "policy protagonism" in which teachers engaged in public arenas with the state and with the public outside of school to address problems they faced within school walls (Robert & McEntarfer, 2014). Four attributes of policy protagonism are defining policy "problems," seeking power and resources to address those policy-worthy problems, "using" social categories and symbolic identities such as perceptions of teachers as mothers and caregivers, and, finally, demanding multiple seats at the decision-making table. Using discourse analysis, I examine Massachusetts' teachers' publications in local and national online newspapers between 2012-2014 that identify Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows, teachers who presumably wish to engage with public policy and are taught how to do so. The sample only demonstrated application of the first attribute, defining policy problems. Changes in policy and policymaking will only come from systematic and sustained engagement of teachers in policy protagonism in both real and virtual public spaces. Although teaching policy fellows were trained to do just that, the analysis suggests that more effort is needed to support teachers' policy work in public spaces. There is no silver bullet to the educational challenge of strengthening teachers' policy work and gaining a seat at the policy table.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; Argentina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A