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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 9, no. 28 (August 01, 2001).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c August 01, 2001
"I love teaching but..." : international patterns of teacher discontent / Catherine Scott, Barbara Stone, [and] Steve Dinham.
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
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1 of 18 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 9 Number 28August 1, 2001ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass, College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2001, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES. Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education ."I love teaching butÂ…." International Patterns of Teacher Discontent Catherine Scott University of Western Sydney Australia Barbara Stone The Imagination Group Steve Dinham University of Western Sydney AustraliaThis paper is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Barbara Stone, a fine teacher andtalented scholar, whose greatest gift to us was her friendship. Abstract
2 of 18This article reports the results of research into t he career motivation and satisfaction of a sample of over 3,000 teachers and school administrators in four countries: Australia, New Zealand, England, and the USA. Using the participants' own words, we explore the effects on educators of recent international educational change, understood here as a subcategory of more general social trends. Bourdieu 's concepts of the Right and Left Hands of the state are used to inter pret the experience of teaching in a climate where, while more is expected and demanded of schools, and schools and teachers are scrutinised a s never before, educational resources have become scarcer, and the status and image of teaching as a profession has declined. Educational Change as Political Change: Consequence s for Teachers and Administrators Belief that schools could and should address the ch allenges for nation states of globalisation and other trends, real and imagined, have become the motivation for radical changes to the management of education. The school reform movement itself is part of a larger political trend characterised by a ttempts to make nations, industries, companies and even individuals more competitive. St rategies adopted are well known but included various types of deregulation, and the restructuring of industries, with down sizing, rationalisation and cost cutting the order of the day. The social consequences of these changes have been profound and have included increases in unemployment and underemployment, combined with a switch to "flexibl e" modes of employment, such as short-term contracts or casual work. At the same time as these changes were being made, states increasingly have withdrawn from a number of sectors in which they tr aditionally had been involved and had supported, including public housing, social sec urity, and education. The result has been to leave the newly underor unemployed withou t a safety net and consequently even more unsupported and vulnerable. Social securi ty has been replaced by widespread individual insecurity and an increase in social dis ruption and distress, and individual suffering has been the result.The Right and Left Hands of the State Bourdieu (1998) has written on these large and sign ificant changes to the nature of the state. He refers to the institutions that have largely shaped and driven the reforms, that is cabinets, finance ministries and treasuries and banks, as the Right Hand of the state. Those concerned with the public interest and welfare such as education, social services, public broadcasting, he calls the Left Ha nd. The Left Hand, including Â“family counsellors, yout h workers, rank and file magistrates, and increasingly primary and secondary school teachers Â“ (p.2), finds itself confronted with the human consequences of economic restructuring. Members of the caring professions increasingly experience themselv es as Â“sent into the front line to perform so called social work to compensate for the inadequacies of the marketÂ” (p. 3). Bourdieu contends that the Right Hand does not know and does not want to know what the Left Hand is doing, and certainly does not want to pay for its activities. Social
3 of 18service agencies of all sorts are thus faced with t he demand to do more with less. The antipathy of the Right Hand to the Left is als o graphically illustrated in the decline of the status of those professions that per form the work of the Left. Included in this trend has been a decline in relative salaries for the Left. Bourdieu argues that Â“the salary granted is an unequivocal index of the value placed on the work and the corresponding workersÂ” (p. 3). This decline has bee n paralleled by an increase in the prestige and remuneration awarded the Right Hand pr ofessions, all those who work with money rather than people. The Contradictions of High Modernity: Deregulation and Low Trust Another important aspect of economic and social res tructuring also had its impact on teaching and teachers, and indeed education may be seen as the most extreme case of this trend, the trend to employ an auditing model o f "quality control." Popkewitz (2000) noted that educational reform, as with other contemporary efforts at restructuring, is characterised by both centralising and decentralising tendencies. Decentralising/deregulation leads inevi tably to potential loss of cetralised control and subsequent anxiety about maintenance of authority relations andmaintenance of quality. The phenomenon of the audit has emerged as one attempt to deal with the contradictions and uncertainty unleashed by these r ecent social and economic changes. Power (1994) in his book on the audit explosion di scusses the expansion of this phenomenon. Originally a financial activity, auditi ng now takes a somewhat different form as it pervades other fields such as the enviro nment, medical practice, and education. Paranthetically one might add that in a climate where the bottom line is the ultimate arbiter, the choice of a financial model o f quality assurance is not surprising. According to Power, audits are designed to provide assurance and the abatement of risk, along with transparency of action, quality value for money, best practice, and freedom from harm. He contends that the Â“fadÂ” for a uditing arose out of the contradiction that Â“on the one hand [there is] the need to extend a traditional hierarchical command in order to maintain existing structures of authority; on the other the need to cope with the failure of this style of control, as it generates risks which are increasingly hard to specify and controlÂ”. (p. 6). The currently favoured model of auditing, Style A Â– Power maintains there are other available models Â– applies across disparate a renas. Central features of the model include long distance control, usually by external agencies, quantitative measures, low trust, and ex post control. These important features are linked. For instance, the involvement of outside bodies of experts in the ove rsight of activities has facilitated a shift in trust from operatives, the performers of a ctivities, to auditors, those who police performance. Operatives are no longer to be trusted to do their jobs correctly, efficiently, effectively, and indeed ethically, but auditors are trusted to ensure that this all occurs. The audit as it is currently conceived comes to sh ape the activities it is meant merely to oversee. If, for instance, counting is in favour, quantity over quality will prevail. If evidence of regulatory activity is requ ired, regulation will increase and with it the associated paper work which is its evidence. Po pkewitz (2000, p. 18) discussed how auditing in education systems performs that shaping function: "In this sense we can think of auditing as a way to 'reason' that has practical consequences. It shapes the conduct of professionals and organisations by asking that the standards of performance function as a technology to evaluate individuals. This is evident in systems of teacher education that focus on performance outcomes, as well as certain w ays of thinking about students' learning. Auditing, then, is a knowledge that funct ions as an active intervention into
4 of 18organisational life, reshaping activities according to the norms of a fundamentally 'opaque expertise.'" (Popkewitz, 2000, p. 18) In the field of education, the audit is epitomised by the British Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) system of school in spections, but each national or state educational system has its own versions. One of OFSTED's main tasks has been to set up a system of school inspections, which occur every four years. Results of OFSTED inspections and national tests of student achieveme nt are used to construct schools Â“leagues tablesÂ”. These tables are published in the Â“interestsÂ” of keeping Â“consumers' informedÂ”. They also form the basis of decisions to intervene in schools or change their status, including the most radical interventionÂ—clo sing the school down. Similarly, in the United States, the audit currentl y takes the form of state-designed testing programs. Currently most states mandate tes ts in some academic subjects and 21 states have plans to rate schools based on results of these tests. In addition, several districts are looking at the possibility of linking teachers' promotion and salaries to the performance of their students on these tests. The N ational Reading Panel authorized by the Reading Excellence Act of 1997, recently issued its findings and has called for the adoption of one particular approach to teaching beg inning reading. (National Reading Panel Report: http://www.nationalreadingpanel.org/D ocuments/default.htm) Consequences for Teachers of Social and Political C hange The International Teacher 2000 Project was launched to investigate the consequences for teachers and administrators of the changes to education systems described above. Increasingly, it has become obviou s that the factors that influence teachers' occupational satisfaction are no longer c onfined to the microcosm of the school (Sergiovanni, 1967, following Herzberg, et. al., 19 59). Instead the Â“Third DomainÂ” (Dinham and Scott, 2000) has a major influence in d etermining how teachers feel about their work. Whereas older models of occupational satisfaction posited two spheres for discussing satisfaction and dissatisfaction, the ac tual work of teaching and the conditions under which work must be performed, the new theory proposes a threefactor model. The Third Domain, encompasses factors at the system level, as well as wider social forces. As Bourdieu would argue, these include the increase in social disruption and suffering attendant upon economic rationalisation, and the decrease in respect, recognition and reward given to professions forming the Left Hand of the state (1998). The researchers of the Teacher 2000 team sought to cast their net wider than an investigation of Â“teacher stressÂ” and instead set o ut to investigate what motivates teachers, and what satisfies and dissatisfies them about their work. To date over, 3000 teachers in four countries (Australia, England, New Zealand and the USA) have been surveyed using parallel forms of a self-report inst rument. Results have been remarkably consistent and have been reported in detail elsewhe re (see Dinham and Scott, 1996; Scott, 1999; Harker et al., 1998, for completed rep orts of national phases of the research). Teachers in all four countries were found to be mo tivated by a desire to work with and for people, and to Â“make a differenceÂ” (Di nham and Scott, 2000) by assisting children and young people to reach their potential, experience success, and grow into responsible adults. Teachers everywhere found high satisfaction in this aspect of their work. In all four countries satisfaction remained h igh on a small focused set of Â“core businessÂ” aspects of teaching. This satisfaction oc curred at the personal levels of working directly with children: experiencing succes s with pupils/students, working
5 of 18cooperatively with other members of the education c ommunity, and professional competence/development (Dinham and Scott, 1996; Sco tt, 1999; Harker et al., 1998). However, they rated their overall occupational sati sfaction as low, and many find themselves more dissatisfied later in their careers than when they began teaching. Levels of dissatisfaction were not uniform across all aspe cts of the work, however. Aspects of teaching associated with school level f actorsÂ—school climate, leadership, resources, and reputationÂ—were rated mo re ambivalently. Considerable variation was based, not surprisingly, on the schoo l in which the individual teacher was currently employed. Aspects of the work that caused teachers dissatisfaction were more numerous and varied somewhat from country to countr y and according to current local issues and problems. As an example, when the Austra lian survey was in progress, a long-standing pay dispute, and previous, unpopular changes to promotion procedures, conflict over which was still occurring, led to con siderable discontent and industrial unrest, reflected in both the numeric ratings on re levant questionnaire items and the comments made by teachers (Dinham and Scott, 1996). For English teachers, the National Curriculum and OFSTED inspections were maj or issues, again registered in responses to the survey (Scott, 1999). Despite national variations, there was also a core of Third Domain issues that concerned all teachers regardless of residence. The y included decrease in status and recognition of the profession, outside interference in and deprofessionalisation of teaching, pace and nature of educational change, an d increase in workload. Mean ratings on items concerned with these issues were universal ly low, and observations about enforced change, increased outside interference in education, increased Â“non-coreÂ” workload, and low pay and status formed the majorit y of comments on open-ended sections of the questionnaire. Previous publications have explored the quantitati ve measures of discontent including the development of the scales used to ass ess satisfaction and dissatisfaction with facets of teaching and its context (Scott, Din ham and Brooks, 1999). This paper will focus on the participants' own words used to d escribe their experience of teaching in an era of profound and enforced social and educatio nal change.In Teachers' Own Words In this section we use the teachers' own words to i llustrate and support the points we have made, above. We have left the teachers' cho ice of words and modes of expression in the forms we received them. The satisfactions of teaching The main satisfiers of teaching are well known and have been documented by many researchers. As we note above these are the sa tisfaction of working with children and seeing them achieve, working collaboratively wi th other members of the education community, and achieving personal professional grow th. Teachers in this study have continued to confirm these areas as satisfiers. Working with and assisting others A major and universal satisfier is the opportunity to work with children and with other me mbers of the educational community. Teachers from all countries listed this aspect as a main source of satisfaction.
6 of 18I enjoy children and being with children. I find be ing a team member satisfying, working towards achieving goals togethe r. NZ classroom teacher, 53.I enjoy working with children I enjoy helping peopl e. I enjoy working with Teachers College students. NZ classroom teacher, 48 Joy of seeing children progress. Relationships with parents. Teamwork as a result of collaborative planning. UK head teacher, 46. Contact with children. UK, head of dept, 39.Team work of the staff. Working with other head tea chers. UK, head teacher, 51.I have a dynamic coordinator of special ed (my dept ). A lot of good things are being done for our department and our spec. ed students. She is definitely a child advocate. The morale is high and we feel like a family (we were very close and communicated a lot) everyone kn ows what is going on and issues that come up can be discussed freely. US A, specialist teacher. 25. Professional efficacy and making a difference A supreme satisfaction of teaching was the opportunity to Â“make a differenceÂ”, contrib ute to a young person's development, and to see the results of that contribution. This f or many or most teachers IS teaching and the externally imposed demands for assessment, record keeping, and accountability are in comparison Â“nonsenseÂ”. They interfere with t eaching, or to quote an NZ teacher, change it to Â“being an accountant and not an educat orÂ”. I enjoy making a difference to people's lives. UK, head teacher, 46. Teaching was a career path that I chose so that I w ould be able to help people and hopefully enable them to achieve the bes t that they can for themselves. Working in what is considered a "disadv antaged" school, doesn't bother me at all, in fact the challenge is more rewarding. Aust classroom teacher, 22.Evidence of learning and creativity. Pupils growing up and turning out all right after all. UK, head of dept, 49.Satisfaction comes...when you can sit down at a bre ak and say you've taught a lesson well (emphasis in original). NZ classroom teacher, 37. Knowing my class is happy to be at school. Giving a boost of confidence or highlighting a child's achievement who does not nor mally do well. NZ classroom teacher, 36.I love to watch the growth in my students as they e xperience success throughout their educational endeavours. It pleases me to my very soul that I am able to help a child become an independent learn er. It's like being a
7 of 18parent a multitude of times each year . .I love i t! USA classroom teacher. I teach because I love to work with students and ex perience the 'high' that comes from watching them achieve success with my he lp. It is the one driving force that keeps me in the profession. USA, classroom teacher, 43. I love feeling I have really helped and inspired so meone. I enjoy planning my lessons and seeing kids succeed. USA, classroom teacher. 53 Professional challenge and growth .Teachers from all countries commented on aspects of teaching work that allowed for both the utilisation of personal qualities such as flexibility, creativity and the ability to respo nd well to challenge and the opportunity to continue to grow and develop as an individual. The scope for being creative, improvising and explo ring different ways to teach/meet students' needs. That every day is diffe rentbringing new surprises/challenges. The classroom is a very vibra nt place to be. NZ classroom teacher, 30.I like teaching because it allows me to continue to learn and grow in many ways. USA classroom teacher, 58.The adventure of learningÂ—both pupils and teacher. UK, specialist, 52. Creativity of producing teaching materials. UK, cla ssroom teacher, 29. The joy of overcoming difficulties. UK classroom te acher, 48. I think to be a good and successful teacher you nee d to be able to make your own decisions, devise your own philosophy and keep yourself motivated and buoyant. Aust classroom teacher, 50. Dissatisfiers: Dealing with the social consequences of change To those on the inside, the teachers and adminstra tors themselves, the pressures to which teaching has been subject as a profession may feel unique. An exploration of the nature of current social change, however, makes it clear that these demands are manifestations of tendencies in the larger society. Teaching may thus be seen as a case study of the effects of these tendencies on profess ions of the Left Hand. The Teacher 2000 Project marks the first time the pressures fro m the education system and societal levels have been documented and fully recognized. The effects of social disruption As discussed above, Bourdieu has noted that the many consequences of the international waves of cha nge and restructuring are frequently characterised by an increase in unemployment, mater ial inequality, and a variety of ills that flow from them. Professionals who form the Lef t Hand of the state deal with the consequences of these ills for individuals, familie s, and communities. There are at least two major aspects of how this expansion of responsi bilities has negatively affected teachers' occupational satisfaction:
8 of 18Dealing with social disruption has widened the scop e of teachers' work to make teachers, in the words of one NZ practitioner Â“coun sellors, social workers, nursesÂ”, and in an Australian teacher's Â“bouncer, c hild counsellor, animal trainer, army sergeant, school nurse, megaphone (not the ope rator the actual machine)Â“. The increase in work has both an indirect Â“kids a re so needy these daysÂ”, to use one US teacher's wordsand a direct cause as schoo ls have become increasingly seen as the appropriate agencies to deal with a lar ge and proliferating array of social problems. 1. Seeing the harm done to individuals is in itself an affront to many members of a profession dedicated to nurturing individuals and s eeing them do well. 2. Teachers from all countries commented on both aspe cts, the increase to their own responsibilities, and the pain and frustration of s eeing children's life chances compromised by social circumstances. I am interested and always have been in teaching my subjects, but I find it almost always a struggle battling with students' la ck of real interest and maturation as well as general and severe behaviour problems associated with the above reasons or due to welfare problems. Teachers cannot do all things: teach, counsel, and to perform administrati ve duties (which are always on the increase) and counselling or repriman ding. Severely influence teacher satisfaction. Aust classroom teacher, 55.Poor family backgroundsÂ—lack of experiences, langua ge, attendance at school, physical/emotional abuse, all factors which severely affects children's progress. NZ, specialist reading teacher s, 41. We are now expected to deal with barriers to learni ng by contacting health and social services, getting more involved in what goes on in the child's life outside school. NZ classroom teacher, 30.What the survey does not bring up is the type of st udents we must face (unlike the classrooms of yesteryear). Terms like B D, LD, ADD, ADHD, IEP, etc, make me feel I deserve a psychologist's s alary instead. USA classroom teacher, 48.Lack of sufficient number of counselors Â– kids are very "needy" today. Social workers are scarce in the city, county and u sually ineffective. USA classroom teacher, 55.Teachers are always addressing student and parent w elfare. Very little is ever done for teacher welfare. Teachers are holding society together but if in-servicing money etc is not forthcoming for teach er welfare, there will be a breakdown in the education system. Aust classroom teacher, 30. The tendency of the Right Hand of the state to cut back on funding in areas of social need (while demanding more) has resulted in growing teacher dissatisfaction due to the compromises it forces in education, as well as the damage wrought elsewhere in society which it expects schools and teachers to re ctify.
9 of 18Lack of funds to help all children. NZ classroom te acher, 44. Lack of up-to-date resources, particularly for spec ial needs children. NZ, specialist, 44.No money appears to be available for children who d esperately need help. UK classroom teacher, 42.Student welfare is another big problem area. There is not enough support for students with severe psychological and behavioural difficulties. Before one can contemplate special placement (as scarce as hen s' eggs) the fellow students and staff often are put under enormous str ess. Children should not have to put up with these students in great need to the detriment of their health and education. Conversely we must provide fo r the students who are reacting to other impossible home situations. Aust classroom teacher, 49. Erosion of professionalism Erosion of professionalism also has at least two aspects: Lowering of the status of and respect for the profe ssion, symbolised for many teachers by the relatively low pay the work is awar ded. 1. Erosion of the scope for exercising professional ju dgement, independence, and competence and of the time to do Â“real teachingÂ”. 2. The lack of trust in the professionalism of teache rs and anxiety about national educational standards have led to a policing mental ity among administrators, a tendency noted across many domains in the widespread move to wards the adopting of Style-A auditing. The consequence has been an anxiousness t o standardise and document all aspects of the work, lest quality be compromised by leaving too much to the judgement of practitioners. The introduction of many more rep orting and documenting requirements, as well as the standardisation of man y aspects of teaching, contributes both to the much noted increase in overall work loa d and to the erosion of the sorts of pleasures of the job described above, i.e., flexibi lity, challenge, creativity, working with and for people. These two facets of the erosion of professionalism, increased work and decreased respect, were summed up by one NZ teacher as Â“constant demands and negative commentsÂ”. Status, criticism, recognition and salary Teachers need to be respected by other teachers, pa rents, students and the whole wide world. Respect and money! USA classroom teacher, 48 Teaching isn't like it used to be and the money isn 't worth the abuse we cop day in day out. Aust classroom teacher, 32.The status of teachers must be raised in regard to their place and respect in society. In order to effectively educate and care f or children we must be respected, have status and held in HIGH esteem. Rai se salaries Â– it's a start. USA classroom teacher, 49.
10 of 18Lack of recognition for experience and skills, cons tant denigration of skilled staff. UK, classroom teacher, 40.I also feel considerably underpaid. There are few p erks to the job, if any. When I compare myself and people in industry I feel particularly cross, especially since I am better qualified than many of them. I feel that unless people are really committed then they should not en ter the teaching profession these days. UK classroom teacher, 39.The press always seems to be hammering teachers. UK classroom teacher, 49.Total lack of respect for teachers. NZ, classroom t eacher, 52. Lack of pay parity, poor salary. NZ, specialist, 44 Issue of teacher status/parentÂ—community relations and media perceptions seem to me to be key inter-related issues. Balance of good community relations seems to be slipping away schools subse quently have been under a lot of parent criticism. Aust classroom teacher, 49. Over the last 6 years I have become less satisfied with my chosen career due to the ever-increasing workload, never ending chang es huge responsibilities, and constant media bashing. I paid my way through 8 years of study, bought many excellent resources, and have given up my heal th and quality of life to receive very little recognition or thanks. Aust cla ssroom teacher, 28. Erosion of professionalism/professional practice, i ncreased paperwork The flip side of the erosion of professionalism for many or most teachers is the increasing intrusion and interference by those education admin istrators, politicians, the press, school governors who know Â“naff allÂ” about teaching to quote an English head teacher. Teachers gain little respect...I feel more like a s lave than an educator. Aust, classroom teacher, 27.Erosion of professionalismÂ—we are completely emascu lated by the national Curriculum/OFSTED/targets. UK head of dept.Schools become the "meat in the sandwich" during el ections. Politicians use Education as a political football. Those in power b eat their chests about "reforms" they have achieved and those wanting powe r assault us with what they will do to make teachers work more efficiently and produce improved student outcomes. To listen to their drivel on the TV and radio an ordinary person would think that teachers totally lack intel ligence and the professional will to direct their own activities to wards improved outcomes for the students. Aust, classroom teacher, 36.Teachers feel disillusioned with teaching because t he DSE [Department of School Education, now the Department of Education a nd Training] shows
11 of 18lack of leadership. They are only interested in cos t cutting measures. They bring in changes without any consultation with the people that matter the teachers. They are out of touch with reality. Aust classroom teacher, 42. Rubrics must be made for every assignment, teacher judgement not valid. [leaving teaching] I will really miss the children and TEACHING (which I believe I am not being allowed to do with all this NONSENSEÂ– "show a rubric for everything you display" Â… "show how this lesson teaches a MAP skill" [state mandated test]. USA classroom teacher 50. I found over the years the amount of preparation an d documentation and accountability and paper work has increased until I find I must consciously say that is all I'm going to do tonight/this weeken d as I must spend time with my family and friends. Aust classroom teacher, 41. Unrealistic expectations of top administration. Inc reased load of meaningless paper work. I feel that education in ge neral and my district in particular is responsive to "trends" in education. Whatever is the latest issue becomes our focus. I feel that our top-level admini strators are very out of touch with what goes on in the classroom on a daily basis. I don't think my principal or superintendent could survive a week in my job. But they are constantly pushing for what they perceive as improv ement, while only making my job harder. Classroom teachers are bombar ded with paper work. We spend so much time on useless paperwork that pla nning, evaluating, and teaching time are seriously impacted. USA classroom teacher, 49. Spending time on things that have no benefit to the children I teach and are not important to me apart from keeping my job. NZ c lassroom teacher, 27 Shocking admin work, copious assessment etc details NZ classroom teacher, 50.PaperworkÂ—the endless evaluation/appraisal that no one else is interested in reading but which must be filed. NZ, classroom t eacher. A parent of a child I taught 9 years ago has just t old me that her child has just been accepted for King's College, Cambridge to study medicine, and thanked me for my ability to develop and encourage his interest in science and maths. This was just pre National Curriculum, a nd pre all the 1001 "new" initiatives. A moral here, I think. I no long er have the time to do the same. UK Dept Head, 50 I can't help but feeling as a person who is prepare d to give/care (and I generally think most teachers are like this) that I am being Â“used" by the system employing me, because each year I seem to be giving a little more (at the expense of my family and personal hobbies, etc). Aust, classroom teacher, 28.I am convinced that the 60/70 hours per week requir ed to do "my job"in the holidays too, has been a significant factor in my illnesses. Over the last
12 of 18few years I have also suffered 2 serious episodes i n which a key factor is the overbearing and never easing demands of the Princip al's role. Aust principal, 54. Quotes from UK teachers summed up well the ways th at these various pressures are eroding some of the core satisfiers of teaching (viz,. facilitating student achievement, helping others, and one's professional growth) with professional autonomy and judgement being replaced by machine-like routines: I am very concerned at the increased stress levels being experienced by teachers. I joined this profession 24 years ago and felt I contributed more to children's education because I had time to relate t o the children I taught. Now I am under so much pressure to reach standards I have little time to really talk to the pupils. I feel more like a machi ne as the years go by with little time for reflection. UK classroom teacher, 4 6. Teachers feel like puppets; other people pull our s trings. There is little vision left in the teaching profession it's been weeded out over the last 10 years (and is still being weeded out). UK classroom teacher. In addition to the emphasis on external assessment and standardised testing compromising the opportunity for professional pract ice, teachers also feared that it would distort the entire educational enterprise I greatly fear that the net effect of this standard s movement is an increase in the gap between the learned and unlearned, and the subsequent "lowering of the bar," which is the last thing we said we would ever consider, and the first thing that my district thought about (but, di d NOT do), when they received back the latest round of writing scores. U SA classroom teacher, There is too much teaching of programs rather than teaching of children in our district. The goal of education should not be t o look good but to do whatever it takes to reach all students. If we did that, looking good would take care of itself. USA classroom teacher. Erosion of Professional Relationships Attempts to change the way schools are managed has had unfortunate consequences for colleg ial relations, and more so in those countries, notably Britain, where these have been t he most far-reaching. Emphasis on a more managerial style for head teachers (principals ) and the devolving to them of more discretionÂ—and responsibilityÂ—over matters such as pay and promotion has frequently disrupted within-school relations. The requirement that principals implement changes that neither they nor their staff support has also had deleterious effects. As a bit of idealistic "old timer" very disappointe d in new ethos of self-promotion, point-scoring, impressing others. N ot as much openness, collegiality, sharing as when I began. Some new pri ncipals seem to see themselves as CEOs managers, etc. Replaced at highe r levels of D.S.E., senior officers flit from position to position. Whe re is the accumulated body of knowledge and experience? Dissipated in managera lism?? Aust,
13 of 18classroom teacher, 49.Heads of schools playing one staff member off again st the other. NZ classroom teacher, 39.Today's schools allow more room for personality cla shesÂ—you only get on by the word of others and not your ability, or pote ntial. NZ, classroom teacher, 41.Head Teachers have no incentive to listen to staff. Greater Head Teacher powers make it impossible for teaching staff to hav e a professional voice. UK classroom teacher, 30.The philosophy and practices of teaching have chang ed markedly from being collegiate and cooperative to be divisive and competitive. The principal has created a culture of distrust and riv alry between teachers and faculties. Many teachers are now perceiving undermi ning of their colleagues, plagiarizing programs, stealing resourc es as a means to get on with their careers. Aust classroom teacher, 35.Being required to implement changes in which I don' t believe with a staff who also disagree with them is not motivating. Know ing that the doubts I and many of my colleagues have will be dismissed as cynical, progressive (which I am not) or a pathetic justification of fai lure, undermines my professionalism and educational experience. UK head teacher, 48. Decision-making is limited to executive staff in th e school. Opportunities are limited to executive staff. Aust classroom teacher, 32.Conclusions A consideration of teaching and its discontents ma y be seen as a case study of the effects of the current dominance of the Right Hand on professions of the Left. That is, a study of teachers' views of their occupation clearl y shows the consequences for professions that deal with persons and their welfar e in a climate where the bottom line has come to dictate the shape and nature of institu tions and the relations of individuals to these and to each other. Teachers everywhere enter the profession to serve children. While they are, in general, pleased with their choice of career as it relates to working directly with children who are willing to participate and learn, outside f orces have intervened to prevent teachers from performing their jobs as they perceiv e them. The result has been a major decline in professional satisfaction. The increasin g economic and social problems that teachers confront, combined with the efforts to hav e educational systems provide solutions for those problems, has led to an increas e in the everyday work of teachers and its complexity. Students who are extremely emotionally and sociall y needy and who have serious self-discipline problems increase the pastoral demands of teaching. In addition, the expansion of external assessment requires the produ ction of more written documents in
14 of 18greater detail, causing the increase in paperwork o f which teachers complain. As Bourdieu predicts would be the case, teaching has a lso suffered a decline in respect and status, combined with reduced salary and resources available with which to do its work. We would therefore contend that the profound dissa tisfaction expressed by teachers in all four countries is caused by the con current juxtaposition of and antithetical nature of two major factors: Motivation to enter teaching Teachers are motivated by altruism and activism i n the sense of a desire to make a difference by aidin g individual children. Teaching is an activity of the Left Hand, the welfare arm of the state, and as such deals with the consequences of social change/disruption wrough t by the Right Hand. It also attracts the antipathy of the Right Hand as reflect ed in its decline in pay, status, and recognition. 1. The issue of control Growing attempts to control the process of teachi ng in order to control its output supposedly to benefit the nat ion economically have increasingly taken the form of attacks on teacher p rofessionalism. This has led to a decline in the opportunity to experience satisfacti on with one's own professional activity and ensuing erosion of overall satisfactio n. 2. The melancholy conclusion to be drawn from this arg ument is that teaching is not and cannot be quarantined from the social context i n which it is embedded. No amount of positive thinking or number of ringing admonitio ns can alter the effects on the profession of the general, profound decline in resp ect for and trust of those do people work. Similarly, working smarter or any number of o ther fashionable solutions cannot ameliorate the Â“intensificationÂ” (Hargreaves, 1994) of the work of teaching attendant upon these changes. What is required is a wider per spective on the nature and the enormity of the social changes that manifest at the Â“chalk faceÂ” in the patterns of discontent the voices of our participants reveal.Note The research reported here was supported by grants from UWS Nepean, The NSW Teachers' Federation, NSW DET, Massey University, T he Nottingham Trent University and Rowan University. The support is gratefully ack nowledged.ReferencesBeare, H. (1991). The Restructuring of Schools and School Systems: A Comparative Perspective. In Harman, G.; Beare, H.; & Berkeley, G. (Eds.) (1991). Restructuring School Management Canberra: Australian College of Education. Bourdieu, P. (1998). Acts of resistance: Against the tyranny of the mark et New York, The New Press.Dinham, S. (1992). Human Perspectives on the Resign ation of Teachers From the New South Wales Department of School Education: Towards a Model of Teacher Persistence Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of New En gland, Armidale. Dinham, S. (1995). Time to Focus on Teacher Satisfa ction, Unicorn 21 (3), 64-75.
15 of 18Dinham, S. (1996). In Loco Grandparentis?: The Chal lenge of Australia s Aging Teacher Population, International Studies in Educational Administration 24 (1), 13-27. Dinham, S. (1997). Teaching and Teachers Families, Australian Educational Researcher 24 (2), 59-88. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (1996a). Teacher Satisfactio n, Motivation and Health: Phase One of the Teacher 2000 Project paper presented t o the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York NY, April. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (1996b). The Teacher 2000 Project: A Study of Teacher Satisfaction, Motivation and Health. Sydney: University of Western Sydney, Nepean. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (1997). Modelling Teacher Sa tisfaction: Findings From 892 Teaching Staff At 71 Schools paper presented to t he American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, March.Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (1998a). An International Co mparative Study of Teacher Satisfaction, Motivation and Health: Australia, Eng land and New Zealand, paper presented to the American Educational Research Asso ciation Annual Meeting, San Diego, April 1998.Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (1998b). A Three Domain Mode l of Teacher and School Executive Satisfaction Journal of Educational Administration 36(4), pp. 362-378. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (1999). The Relationship Bet ween Context, Type of School and Position Held in School and Occupational Satisfacti on, and Mental Stress paper presented to the Australian College of Education/Au stralian Council for Educational Administration, National Conference, Darwin, 5th Ju ly. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2000). Moving Into The Thir d, Outer Domain Of Teacher Satisfaction Journal of Educational Administration 38 (3), in press. Hargreaves, A. (1994). Changing Teachers, Changing Times London: Cassell. Herzberg, F., Mausner, B. & Snyderman, B. (1959). T he Motivation to Work. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Popkewitz, T. (2000) The denial of change in educat ional change: Systems of ideas in the construction of national policy and evaluation Educational Researcher 29 (1), 17-29.Power, M. (1994). The audit explosion. London: Demo s. Sergiovanni T. (1967). Factors Which Affect Satisfa ction and Dissatisfaction of Teachers, Journal of Educational Administration 5 (1), 66-81.About the Authors
16 of 18 Dr. Catherine Scott Coordinator of Research Development, University o f Western Sydney, Hawkesbury, Richmond NSW 2753 Phone: +61 2 4570 1574, Fax + 61 4570 1686, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgDr. Barbara Stone Educational Consultant, The Imagination Group, St Louis, MO. Dr. Steve Dinham Associate Professor, School Teaching and Educatio nal Studies, University of Western Sydney, Nepean. PO Box 10, Ki ngswood NSW 2747, Phone: +61 2 4736 0294, Fax: +61 2 4736 0400. Email: s.dinham@ uws.edu.auCopyright 2001 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is epaa.asu.edu General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, email@example.com or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-0211. (602-965-9644). The Commentary Editor is Casey D. C obb: firstname.lastname@example.org .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov email@example.com Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for HigherEducation William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington
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