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Teacher's stories of change: stress, care and economic rationality

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Easthope, C and Easthope, G (2007) Teacher's stories of change: stress, care and economic rationality. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 32 (1). ISSN 0313-5373

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Abstract

The impact of economic rationalism on teachers’ working lives
has been documented extensively, particularly in the UK. This article
provides a case study of its impact in the early 1990s in a small Australian
state, Tasmania, to illustrate that although the particular institutional
forms through which it is expressed may differ its impact is similar. We do
this by focusing on teachers' stories of change that have stress as a major
theme. Stress is partially explained by increased workloads, teachers
teaching outside their specialist areas and a changing student population.
However, the ideology of economic rationalism has heightened stress
because of the perceived lack of administrative care. A major stressor is
trying to maintain a professional ideology of caring while, concurrently,
accommodating to economic rationality. The clash of ideologies leads
teachers to reduce commitment by leaving teaching, moving to part-time
employment, withdrawing into classroom teaching and/or rationalising
their workload with, they perceive, a decrease in the quality of teaching.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Teacher Education
Publisher: Edith Cowan University
ISSN: 0313-5373
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:31
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:35
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