Teacher Agency: why is it important in education policy?

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education

Year: 2021


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Teacher Agency: why is it important in education policy?

Adriana Carolina Torres Escobar



The article is the result of qualitative research of documentary analysis that contrasts and problematizes the reduction of the opportunities that teachers have to exert power over their pedagogical decisions. Through the examination of academic research, this study critically compares teacher agency in some Latin American and European countries. When education policy does not take into account the academic, professional, and subjective contributions of the teachers, it tends to get decontextualized, irrelevant to the realities of the students, and inflexible. Nonetheless, students need an education that prepares them to face the challenges of the current dynamic, plural, and changing postmodern era. Based on the approaches of Foucault (1995; 2005; 2012), Lazzarato (2006; 2010), De Sousa Santos (2000), and Deleuze (1995), this article proposes that teachers should have an active role in the design and implementation of education policy. The knowledge and subjectivities of teachers are crucial to make deep transformations in the education of the XXI century. Teachers need to rescue their professionalism and be co-builders of communities of critical thinking, to be generators of projects filled with human and social meaning, and to transform educational environments that have restricted knowledge to the simple sphere of production and consumption.

Keywords: education policy, educational change, leadership, professionalism, teacher agency.