Toward A Theory for Understanding Teacher Agency: Grounded Theory with Inclusion Co-Teachers
Gourd, Tina Yushan
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The study seeks to contribute to a conversation on the nature of teaching and the work of teacher education by developing a theoretical model for understanding teacher agency. Grounded theory methodology was used to study teacher agency within a collaborative action research project conducted with 17 public school teachers and one administrator in a co-taught inclusion program in a large middle school in Seattle, WA. Five dimensions of a theoretical model for understanding teacher agency were identified. (i) The macrosociological context of teacher agency and (ii) context-specific constraints and opportunities provide a crucial lens through which to understand the choices of teachers. Within their macro- and micro-contexts, teachers find ways to (iii) exert agency within their perceived constraints, (iv) take advantage of ambiguities and contested spaces in education to exert agency, and (v) use available structures to exert agency. The theory for understanding teacher agency offers a structure for discussions of teacher agency in teacher education and other areas of the field of education.
- Education - Seattle