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Title: Teacher capacity for change : the case of GCSE Mathematics
Author: Golding, Jenefer
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 1682
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Deep implementation of valued mathematics education policy remains elusive in the western world (Spillane, 2004; Eurydice 2010). This thesis reports on a small study which aimed to illuminate our understanding of both teacher capacity for change, and how teacher characteristics interact with policy enaction. It followed two English mathematics departments enacting a new 14-16 mathematics curriculum: a potentially demanding change for teachers. The study used a constructivist grounded approach (Charmaz 2000) over nearly three years to incorporate teacher response after first examination results, employing semi-structured interviews, lesson observations and documentary evidence. I employ several theoretical lenses and consider the benefits and tensions inherent in that. Analysis is at two levels: that of individual teachers, and of departments; and supports an extension of Ball et al's (2011) 'policy players' typology. The two departments formed a 'telling' sample (Mitchell 1984), appearing well-placed for a principled curriculum enactment. However, they developed divergently, with 'Greenways' participants over time achieving an increasingly principled enaction, whereas 'High Wood', while espousing this, in fact privileged accountability measures by adopting minimal change. Responses appeared to both expose and generate differential depths of a range of professional competencies. Additionally, the importance of various affective and social characteristics emerged: Greenways developed a deeper professional community with distributed leadership, and exhibited a progressively greater self-efficacy in relation to the changes, whereas High Wood appeared to lose access to previously-exhibited individual and department-level strengths. The study supports an extension of Winch's (2010) construct of occupational capacity in three ways: applicable to a group, social and affective. This small-scale study adds to our understanding of both barriers to deep change and the development of expertise; it also informs our understanding of the constraints and affordances of policy. Additionally, in line with the aims of the professional Doctorate, it served to catalyse a higher level of personal reflective engagement with the range of my professional functioning - as teacher, teacher developer, policy activist and researcher.
Supervisor: Hodgen, Jeremy ; Winch, Christopher Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available