Teacher Agency: An Ecological Approach

Recent worldwide education policy has reinvented teachers as agents of change and professional development of the school curriculum. Academic literature has analyzed changes in how teacher professionalism is conceived in policy and in practice but Teacher Agency provides a fresh perspective on the issue, drawing upon an ecological theory of agency. Using this model for understanding agency, Mark Priestley, Gert Biesta and Sarah Robinson explore empirical findings from the ‘Teacher Agency and Curriculum Change’ project, funded by the UK-based Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Drawing together this research with the authors’ international experiences and perspectives, Teacher Agency addresses theoretical and practical issues of international significance. The authors illustrate how teacher agency should be understood not only in terms of individual capacity for teachers, but also in respect of the cultures and structures of schooling.

About the Author

Mark Priestley is Professor of Education in the School of Education at the University of Stirling, UK. He is an elected member of the Council of the British Educational Research Association (BERA), and Co-Convenor of the European Educational Research Association Curriculum Development Network. Gert Biesta is Professor of Education at Brunel University London, UK, and Visiting Professor (Art Education) at ArtEZ Institute for the Arts, The Netherlands. He is Associate Member of the Education Council of the Netherlands (2015-2018), Chief Advisory Editor of Studies in Philosophy and Education, and Co-convenor of SIG 25 (Educational Theory) of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). Sarah Robinson is Associate Professor at the Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media in the Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University, Denmark.

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