Shifts in Curriculum Control: Contesting Ideas of Teacher Autonomy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMausethagen, S., & Mølstad, C. E. (2015). Shifts in curriculum control: contesting ideas of teacher autonomy. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 1(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/nstep.v1.28520
This article addresses how the introduction of a more product-oriented curriculum in Norway has challengedand altered more traditional ideas of teacher autonomy. Based on interview data, the study investigatesprominent perspectives on autonomy through an analysis of how teachers, principals, a district superintendentand educational administrators perceive the current steering and control through the national curriculum. Thefindings show three main perspectives on teacher autonomy as (1) pedagogical freedom and absence of control,(2) the will and capacity to justify practices and (3) a local responsibility. However, these varying viewpoints arecontested and highlight the multidimensionality of teacher autonomy. These should be discussed in relation toone another for an increased understanding of the associated and current dilemmas arising in the teachingprofession with the shifts in curriculum control. The findings also shed light on how an increase in localresponsibilities related to student outcomes and school development interferes in the unofficial contract thathas historically existed between teachers and the state.