chapter
Understanding Teachers: Concepts and Contexts
Pages 26

Any attempt to portray the contemporary situation of teachers’ work and teachers’ careers must inevitably begin by recognizing the changing context within which this work is undertaken and careers constructed. Changes in the financing of education, in the degree of political intervention into school matters, and in the views of and general level of esteem for teachers held within the public at large, have, and are having, profound effects upon the ways that teachers experience their jobs. From the late 1960s we have moved from a situation of teacher shortage and apparently infinite possibilities for the expansion of educational provision to, in the 1980s, a situation of teacher unemployment and contraction in provision, with one or two exceptions, across the system as a whole.