Secondary school arts teachers’ practice autonomy perceptions in New Zealand and England

Thorpe, Vicki and Kinsella, Victoria (2020) Secondary school arts teachers’ practice autonomy perceptions in New Zealand and England. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 53 (4). pp. 531-545. ISSN 0022-0272

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New Zealand has its educational roots in 19th and 20th century British educational systems with close similarities between English and New Zealand secondary school education structures. In the last two decades, however, secondary school education in both countries has experienced multiple and sometimes radical reforms. Educational policy has diverged markedly at times. In this article, we present the findings of research into the professional autonomy of 15 secondary school music, art and drama teachers from England and New Zealand. The aim was to explore whether teachers believed themselves to be professionally autonomous and to what extent educational policy and external structures impacted their practice. Findings suggest despite similarities between jurisdictions, England teachers report a highly performative regime that restricts, governs and isolates them and the arts in school. This contrasts a progressive, even permissive, professional environment where the New Zealand teachers believe their students’ needs come first and feel primarily accountable to their local and disciplinary communities.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
19 April 2020Accepted
19 May 2020Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: teachers, professionalism, performativity, curriculum autonomy
Subjects: CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE)
Depositing User: Victoria Kinsella
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 14:13
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 16:57

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