Navigating Tensions: Education Policy and the Science Teacher

Palavras-chave: education policy, curriculum reform, teachers change.


Teachers of science are constantly experiencing changing education policies that impact on their daily working lives, e.g. a national or state-wide requirement to teach about the nature of science, or a school-wide requirement to use student peer assessment in the classroom. Such policies typically come ‘from outside’; they are not decisions made by individual teachers or small groups of teachers. They also come with authority and, often, powerful mechanisms of accountability, e.g. national assessment of student learning outcomes or teacher appraisal programmes. Teaching involves navigating these shifting policy environments whilst practising personal identity and associated beliefs about teaching. This results in many challenges, but also opportunities, for teachers. This paper elaborates on the form and role of education policy and what this means for teachers of science. Drawing upon studies of how science teachers experience education policy, the contexts of teachers’ work are characterised in terms of personal, internal (to school), and external themes. The paper then suggests features of school policy environments that can support better, and more sustainable, outcomes for teachers and other stakeholders.


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Como Citar
Ryder, J. (2017). Navigating Tensions: Education Policy and the Science Teacher. Revista Brasileira De Pesquisa Em Educação Em Ciências, 17(1), 1-12.