Vocational teachers pathways in the course of a curriculum reform
Vähäsantanen, K., & Eteläpelto, A. (2011). Vocational teachers’ pathways in the course of a curriculum reform. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43 (3), 291-312. doi:10.1080/00220272.2011.557839
Published inJournal of Curriculum Studies
© Routledge. This is an electronic final draft version of an article published in Journal of Curriculum Studies, which is available online at: www.tandfonline.com.
Teachers face continuous changes, many of which significantly influence their professional identities and work practices. This study investigates Finnish vocational teachers’ pathways in the course of a curriculum reform. The data were obtained by interviewing 14 vocational teachers twice, i.e. at the initial and later stages of the reform. This study used a narrative approach to analyse the interviews as whole and also to illustrate variations between teachers. The teachers were found to exhibit distinctive pathways through the reform: an empowerment pathway, a critical but adaptive pathway, an open and expectant pathway, a successful transformation pathway, and a struggling pathway. The pathways demonstrated that the teachers’ self‐positioning in respect of the reform and their own professional identities showed varying degrees of continuity and transformation. The teachers changed or sustained their positions and identities, on the basis of their individual interpretations of the experiences and emotions they underwent during the reform. The paper concludes with a discussion of professional identity and agency in the reform context, and looks at the consequences of the reform for teachers. ...