MINDS @ UW-Madison

Cross-national Trends in Teacher Work Roles and Working Conditions

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LeTendre, Gerald K.
Mar 02, 2009
International and Comparative
With the growing attention to curricular standardization, especially in math and science, and equitable conditions that promote learning for all students, most research has continued to focus on instructional practice alone. Accountability issues (teacher quality defined as certification) and equity (access to qualified teachers) have been at the fore in many cases. But, scant attention has been paid to teacher working conditions, norms, and roles even though they vary widely, even among highly developed nations. Professor LeTendre will explore transnational trends in teacher working norms and discuss potential factors that contribute to, or inhibit, increasing isomorphism in teachers' work. On the one hand, an increasing network of organizations and international testing regimes have worked to strengthen a trans-national consensus on teachers' work. On the other hand, counter-trends include local adaptation, lack of national norms and expectations, and a continuous stream of reforms sparked by constant comparison and competition, especially among developed nations. LeTendre will also discuss how universities that engage in teacher education need to be aware of these trends and maintain a critical perspective on how their research and training goals affect teachers' work.
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