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Occasional teachers’ job-related learning

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Book Chapter

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Teacher learning and power in the knowledge society.

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"Publicly funded schools are hierarchical institutions with many different levels or divisions of power. Each level of authority has a role to play, and each level is situated between those with more authority and those with less. Substitute teachers are treated poorly because they can be. They exist at the lowest level of a hierarchy and are governed by others with more power … It is important to understand that the inherently hierarchical nature of the school system prevents [occasional] teachers from ever becoming full members of the teaching profession."(Duggleby & Badali 2007, p. 31)

In Chapter 1, Livingstone and Antonelli argue that professionals in class positions with ownership prerogatives have more power than those who are part of the professional employee class, like teachers. However, we also need to acknowledge that there are differences among professional employees. Not all professional employees have equal power. This is particularly the case for teachers. Teachers’ power is associated with their positioning within the hierarchy constituting the teacher workforce. This means that certain groups of teachers, and in particular those who are employed in non-permanent arrangements, will have less access to power than do permanent full-time teachers. These arrangements will influence how they do their job and how they learn about their job. This chapter explores how non-permanent job arrangements for teachers – occasional teaching – influence their professional ability to control their job, work environment, and professional learning.

Citation of this paper:

Pollock K. (2012) Occasional Teachers’ Job-Related Learning. In: Clark R., Livingstone D.W., Smaller H. (eds) Teacher Learning and Power in the Knowledge Society. The Knowledge Economy and Education, vol 5. SensePublishers, Rotterdam.

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