Understanding teacher agency: The importance of relationships

Priestley, M., Biesta, G.J.J. & Robinson, S. (2012).

Understanding teacher agency: The importance of relationships. A paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada, 13-17 April 2012

This paper is really interesting and reinforces a lot of what I believe about enhancing collegiality through Learning Rounds.Priestley et al argue that the key to teacher agency is relationships – relational resources supported by a web of strong horizontal  connections will allow a collaborative culture to develop, facilitate further relationships and develop a stronger sense of teachers as agents of change. Add curriculum change into the equation and it becomes obvious that  vertical command and control structures will clearly inhibit all of this.

Learning Rounds have a great deal to offer this as a model of developing collaborative culture.  They offer an opportunity to collaborate in non-hierarchical, non subject specific relationships through discussion and they enable teacher agency in agreeing an area of focus for CPD and planning a whole  school  response to the issue. Do they create a greater sense of collaborative culture? I’ll have to get a move on with my research to find out!

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About catrionao

I'm a PhD student at Stirling University, studying a school based practice of teacher professional learning. I also do online facilitation for various organisations such as SELMAS and the Strategic Leadership Development Programme.
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