Effects of national policies on teachers' sense of professionalism: findings from an empirical study in Portugal and in England

August 2007

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 30, Issue 3 August 2007, pages 249 - 265

This paper reports on research aimed at investigating the ways in which teachers in Portugal and in England are experiencing recent changes in the policy environment which have affected their sense of professionalism and their professional identity. Data were collected through questionnaires and focus group interviews.

Findings suggest the existence of some strengths in teachers' views on their professionalism, namely the importance of vocationalism, continuing learning and collaborative cultures, the relevance of project-oriented work at school and an integrated perspective of the curriculum. However, a number of limitations also emerged, such as feelings of ambivalence and conflict, associated with increased bureaucracy, qualities of school leadership, cultures of loneliness and the lack of understanding and ownership of the process of change.


Updated: Jan. 14, 2008