Autonomy and the Teaching Profession
16 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2020
Date Written: December 16, 2019
Challenges to autonomy provide barriers for today’s teachers, which negatively impact teacher well-being and contribute to high levels of attrition, all to the detriment of students. Teachers, aware of the impediments to their autonomy regarding curriculum, workload, and assessment, are powerless to make changes due to current educational structures. The feelings of powerlessness associated with this knowledge and the lack of autonomy to make decisions with the goal of meeting the needs of students are frustrating concerns within contemporary education and contribute to perpetuating the marginalization of students. All teachers experience this strain, however, lack of autonomy and associated powerlessness is investigated within this article from the perspective of music educators. To combat obstructions to teacher autonomy, it is posited that the elimination of standardized testing, a reallocation of funding, and a decreased teacher workload are necessary to promote increased teacher autonomy, support teacher well-being, decrease high levels of attrition, and ensure engaging education for students of all kinds.
Keywords: Autonomy, education, music education
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