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Attitudes to teacher involvement in change: Some Australian and other Commonwealth country data

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The promulgation of major educational reforms during the 1980s and 1990s in Australia (Hobart Declaration of Schooling), the UK (The Education Reform Act), and the US (Improving America’s Schools Act) occurred alongside a renewed interest in how major change was impacting on teachers and schools. In this context an international study reported that teachers with more active involvement in a change were more supportive of the change and more likely to participate in future change initiatives (Poppleton & Williamson, 2004). However, this study did not consider the role of incongruence between principal and teacher attitudes toward teacher involvement.

This presentation will report on an international study that involved at least 50 principals and 100 teachers in 10 countries. Two questionnaires were used for data gathering; one for principals and teachers, respectively. The study provides a look at how roles of teachers are viewed in the school context by asking the principal, ‘How much do you think teachers wish to take part in this responsibility?’, and then ‘How much do you feel teachers should take part in this responsibility?’ Likewise, teachers were asked to reflect on, ‘how much do you wish to take part in…?’, and then, ‘How much does your principal think teachers should take part in this …?’ Data from four Commonwealth countries will be explored to highlight similarities and differences.

John Williamson is Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania. John read for his PhD at the University of Leicester under the supervision of Professor Maurice Galton. He has published in the areas of pedagogy, classroom processes and practices, teacher education, and teachers’ work lives. He has directed projects for the OECD , and various Australian state governments, and been involved in AUS Aid projects in the Philippines and Kiribati and a consultant to universities in the Middle-East.

This talk is part of the Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) series.

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