Teacher's Informal Learning, Identity and Contemporary Education Reform

  • Kari Dehli
  • Doreen Fumia

The second half of the 1990s was a period of a great deal of turmoil and change in Ontario’s schools, as a neoconservative government, first elected in 1995, pushed ahead with its version of reform in the name of standards, accountability and efficiency. In this small study, conducted in 2000, we examine how teachers were being positioned and how they understood themselves in the complex milieu of intense education reform. One of the central questions that we asked is how notions of effectiveness, improvement and accountability shape images of the good teacher in reform discourses, and how these notions are woven into teacher talk as they “account for themselves” in interviews (MacLure, 1993).

Twelve teachers were interviewed. Some were participants in the original research. Some were selected because they had worked as teacher representatives on school advisory councils, others because they teach grade 3 or 6, whose students were targeted for yearly provincial testing. The teachers were asked to comment on contemporary school reform, particularly those aspects having to do with curriculum, assessment and reporting. However, because the interviews were open-ended, several teachers took the conversation to topics that we did not elicit. For example, they talked about stress, burnout and health-related problems that they experienced.


Education Reform School Board Report Card Educational Change School Improvement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kari Dehli
    • 1
  • Doreen Fumia
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada
  2. 2.Ryerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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