Changes in Teachers’ Work and Professionalism in England: Impressions from the "shop floor"

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Buyruk Halil


Teachers' work together with the education systems has experienced many changes in most of the western countries since 1980s. England has played a leading role in the application of educational reforms which has been accelerated in recent years. This article aims to analyse the changes in teachers’ work and professionalism in England based on teachers’ professional experiences. For this aim, firstly, it focuses on the main debates on teacher professionalism followed by an analysis of the educational reforms of English education system that have impacts on teachers’ work directly. Then, it presents findings from a qualitative research based on the narratives of sixteen teachers to explore their roles in decision-making process and professional experiences by focusing on the inside of the school. Despite the discourse that there is an increasing professional autonomy of teachers with the local management of schools, the increasing control mechanisms based on standardized testing, national curriculum and inspections are eliminating their voices in decision-making processes. However, they sometimes experience these processes in different ways in different schools and this is important to understand the agencies of teachers in particular contexts. 


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