Conference Agenda

RN19_09a: Too cool for School? Changing Professionalism in the Educational Field
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Mirko Noordegraaf, Utrecht University
Location: BS.3.27
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


On the Emergence of a New Expertise: Contextualizing the Educational Turn in the Resilience Discourse in Israeli Schools

Galia Plotkin-Amrami

Ben-Gurion University, Israel

A new paradigm of “resilience education” has emerged over the past decade through efforts by international organizations, states, and local communities to provide their constituencies with means to cope with disasters and risks. While the topic of resilience has benefited from an explosion in academic and policy interest over the past decade, there has been little scholarly attention directed at examining how resilience education becomes embedded in particular social contexts. Based on interviews with key professional experts who have developed resilience projects within/for the educational system in Israel, I will sketch the main tendencies in the local history of resilience training in Israeli schools from the early 1980s to the present. I will illustrate that this history has been influenced by various mutually related factors: extension of insecurities and risks, the broader theoretical developments, the transformations in cultural understandings of human suffering and coping, and the establishment of educational counseling as a profession within the Ministry of education. I will argue that the development of the resilience training practices in Israeli schools was accompanied by the process of alignment between various potential insecurities and risks in terms of the mechanisms of potential injury and coping resources, and de-centralization of knowledge on resilience capacities, which has challenged the traditional expert/lay hierarchy. These tendencies brought about a gradual process of extension in the scope and format of resilience training. They interwove the normal with the extreme, the expert with the lay, and brought about the "routinization" of war-related insecurity and the emergence of a new professional expertise.The sociology of expertise appears to be a particularly useful approach for investigating the educational turn in resilience discource.

In Search for the Professional Core: How Secondary Schoolteachers Navigate on the Swedish School-Market

Magnus Persson1, Per Dannefjord2

1Malmö University, Sweden; 2Linnaeus University, Sweden

This presentation focus on how secondary schoolteachers navigate in the Swedish school-system, a system that has developed into a school-market after several market-oriented reforms during the 1990s. This development has intensified the possibilities for every pupil to select and deselect specific schools, something that have increased competition and social differences between schools. Less is known about how teachers navigate on this socially fragmentised market.

By interviewing secondary schoolteachers working on a wide social range of schools the use of navigating strategies of avoiding and searching has been exposed. Some interviewed teachers seek to avoid low status schools dominated by pupils with weak school performance, low social origin and wide ethnic heterogeneity. Others actively search for these schools and avoid high status schools populated by high performing pupils mainly from the middle-class. In preliminary analysis different forms of capital held by the teachers are used to understand what strategy the individual deploy.

No matter what navigating strategy the interviewed teachers search or avoid, the possibilities to work with professional teaching is a common reason for their course of action. The professional core in teaching is differently described though. It is described as caring and social work by teachers navigating towards low status schools and as didactics and subject-matters by teachers searching for schools with higher social status. To the dimension of social fragmentation on the school-market, another dimension concerning differences in how professional work is interpreted and carried out in different types of schools therefore can be added.

Primay School Teachers' Images Of Their Profession In A Context Of Change. A Study Of The French Case

Sandrine Garcia, Magali Danner, Géraldine Farges, Jean-François Giret

Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, France

In many countries, the teaching profession currently meets with many changes at the work place, relating to a great extent to the introduction within educational systems of New Public Management methods. Concerning the French case, several surveys have demonstrated that teachers have a poor image of their profession, and are not satisfied with their working conditions. In the same time, the social trajectories leading to the teaching professions have changed over the past years: at the primary level, teachers come from higher social backgrounds and have a higher educational level. Thus, focusing on primary school teachers, our presentation will tackle the relationships between, on the one hand, the images teachers have of their profession and, on the other hand, both characteristics of the work place and characteristics of social trajectories. Our analysis is based on a research programme granted by the French Ministry for Education, that have enabled the implementation of an empirical design consisting in a first-handed questionnaire-survey and in-depth interviews. We insist that primary school teachers’ job satisfaction mainly varies according to the professional autonomy they benefit on their work place, which largely depends upon the relationships with the local school team and hierarchy. However, we uncover inequalities among primary school teachers regarding professional autonomy: some social and educational backgrounds seem to better prepare to adapt to the contemporary design of the teaching profession.

Changing Professional Knowledge and Authority of School Teachers

Valery Mansurov, Olesya Yurchenko

Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation

Globalisation of education led to the understanding that Russian school is not effectively preparing graduates for life in the modern world. The Ministry of Education and Science fostered changes in school education. It proclaimed the need to change the content of the school teachers’ job and to build an open and collegial management system in school education. In this article, we consider the school teacher’s views of the changing nature of their professional knowledge and authority. We rely on selected results of a focus-group study conducted in six cities of the Moscow region within the framework of the project of the Institute of Education of Higher School of Economics Universal Competences and New Literacy. Focus groups were held in May 2018. The introduction of new school standards resulted in the increased workload of teachers, who were burdened with extra bureaucratic responsibilities. The research showed that the professional community was discontented with the implications of diminished discretion and with the fall of authority. There was no much freedom of choice regarding learning programmes, textbooks and working routine. The All-Russian population survey showed that only 39% of adults were ready to acknowledge the authority of school teachers. Schoolchildren challenged the authority of school teachers too. Even primary school children were aware of the various ways to acquire knowledge. They did not need teachers as a source of knowledge in the same way as pupils did a few years ago. Teachers could not derive their authority just from their position and knowledge. As teachers reported the most desirable type of authority was personal authority, based upon merit and respect.