chapter  7
22 Pages

Self-determination among primary school teachers

ByPeter Woods

A. Pollard, in examining how considerations of self bear on teachers' actions, identified certain interests associated with maintaining a sense of self in the classroom: maximizing enjoyment; controlling the workload; maintaining one's health and avoiding stress; retaining autonomy; maintaining one's self-image. Prominent is their concern for the children, who are placed before knowledge, teachers, adults generally, and the state. To the extent that teachers' work is becoming intensified, so their selves are in danger of a degree of debasement - less autonomy, less choice, less freedom, less reflection, less individuality, less voice and, ultimately perhaps, less commitment, and/or a change to a more instrumental form. J. Nias's teachers, though undergoing continual professional development, were always at pains to protect their substantial selves from uncomplementary change. Ensel teachers' initial training and educational studies introduced them to a range of theory and practice that confirmed their intuition and cast new light on some of their own experiences.