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Mária Nagy : Autonomy and Control of the Teaching Profession

Problems of teacher professionalism, changing responsibilities, control and autonomy has come to the forefront of educational research and also of educational policies since the mid-seventies, in different parts of the world. It reflects a general loss of confidence in the traditional concepts and practices of teacher professionalism and autonomy, and of traditional schooling itself. Radical changes of school constituencies, multiculturalism, fast spreading new techniques in media and video culture, growing importance of peer groups in the socialization of young people, growing rates of both pupil and teacher truancy are but some signs of the erosion of traditional teacher competencies. Recent years have brought about responses both on macro-level and micro-level. The author describes the most influential vision of new professionalism: that of the market model. In this vision teacher's competencies are legitimized by consumer choice what leads to growing competition within the profession, traditionally characterized by strong solidarity. At the same time, teaching processes are more and more controlled with the help of standardized evaluation techniques, that loosing some of the main interpersonal and individual characteristics of the profession. Researches on classroom practices, on the other hand report about different voices of teachers and about staff conflicts among Old Professionals, Old Collectivists and New Managers. The author assumes that the lack of clear visions of teachers professionalism in Hungarian educational policy-making may lead to the strengtehening of chaotic voices but, on the longer run, might as well result in visions more listening to voices.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 94. Number 1-2. 27-36. (1994)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Nagy Mária, Országos Közoktatási Intézet, H–1051 Budapest, Dorottya u. 8.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia