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Biesta, G., Priestley, M. and Robinson, S., 2015. The role of beliefs in teacher agency. / Rôl credoau mewn asiantaeth athrawon. Teachers and teaching, 21(6), pp.624-640. Available on EBSCO via teachers’ PLP

journal contribution
posted on 2022-06-28, 11:47 authored by Gemma MitchellGemma Mitchell

Biesta, G., Priestley, M. and Robinson, S., 2015. The role of beliefs in teacher agency. / Rôl credoau mewn asiantaeth athrawon. Teachers and teaching, 21(6), pp.624-640. Available on EBSCO via teachers’ PLP 


Abstract: There is an ongoing tension within educational policy worldwide between countries that seek to reduce the opportunities for teachers to exert judgement and control over their own work, and those who seek to promote it. Some see teacher agency as a weakness within the operation of schools and seek to replace it with evidence-based and data-driven approaches, whereas others argue that because of the complexities of situated educational practices, teacher agency is an indispensable element of good and meaningful education. While the ideological debate about the shape and form of teacher professionalism is important, it is equally important to understand the dynamics of teacher agency and the factors that contribute to its promotion and enhancement. In this paper, we draw from a two-year study into teacher agency against the backdrop of large-scale educational reform – the implementation of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence – in order to explore these questions. We focus on teachers’ beliefs in order to get a sense of the individual and collective discourses that inform teachers’ perceptions, judgements and decision-making and that motivate and drive teachers’ action. While the research suggests that beliefs play an important role in teachers’ work, an apparent mismatch between teachers’ individual beliefs and values and wider institutional discourses and cultures, and a relative lack of a clear and robust professional vision of the purposes of education indicate that the promotion of teacher agency does not just rely on the beliefs that individual teachers bring to their practice, but also requires collective development and consideration.’ 



'Crynodeb : Mae tensiwn parhaus o fewn polisi addysgol ledled y byd rhwng gwledydd sy'n ceisio lleihau'r cyfleoedd i athrawon farnu a rheoli eu gwaith eu hunain, a'r rhai sy'n ceisio ei hyrwyddo. Mae rhai o'r farn bod asiantaeth athrawon yn wendid yng ngweithrediad ysgolion ac yn ceisio ei disodli gan ddulliau sy'n seiliedig ar dystiolaeth ac sy'n seiliedig ar ddata, tra bod eraill yn dadlau, oherwydd cymhlethdodau arferion addysgol sydd wedi'u lleoli, fod asiantaeth athrawon yn elfen anhepgor o addysg dda ac ystyrlon. Er bod y ddadl ideolegol am siâp a ffurf proffesiynoldeb athrawon yn bwysig, mae'r un mor bwysig deall deinameg asiantaeth athrawon a'r ffactorau sy'n cyfrannu at ei hyrwyddo a'i gwella. Yn y papur hwn, rydym yn tynnu o astudiaeth ddwy flynedd i asiantaeth athrawon yn erbyn cefndir o ddiwygio addysgol ar raddfa fawr – gweithredu Cwricwlwm rhagoriaeth yr Alban – er mwyn archwilio'r cwestiynau hyn. Rydym yn canolbwyntio ar gredoau athrawon er mwyn cael ymdeimlad o'r trafodaethau unigol a chyfunol sy'n llywio canfyddiadau, dyfarniadau a phenderfyniadau athrawon ac sy'n ysgogi ac yn llywio camau gweithredu athrawon. Er bod yr ymchwil yn awgrymu bod credoau'n chwarae rhan bwysig yng ngwaith athrawon, mae diffyg cyfatebiaeth ymddangosiadol rhwng credoau a gwerthoedd unigol athrawon a thrafodaethau a diwylliannau sefydliadol ehangach, a diffyg gweledigaeth broffesiynol glir a chadarn o ddibenion addysg yn dangos nad yw hyrwyddo asiantaeth athrawon yn dibynnu ar y credoau y mae athrawon unigol yn eu cyflwyno i'w harfer yn unig,  ond mae hefyd yn gofyn am ddatblygu ac ystyried ar y cyd.' 

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