Teacher Autonomy Part 2

Scenes From The Battleground

Yesterday I blogged about the background to the issue of teacher autonomy and the dilemma facing traditionalists who, when progressives were in control, argued for autonomy, but now see it used to justify bad practice.

Although I still tend to favour teachers’ freedom to make their own judgements, I think what is needed is not a blanket declaration that teachers can do what they like, but rather it is important to follow a number of principles for when autonomy can or cannot be restricted. In particular, it should always be remembered that there is both positive and negative variance from any given model of teaching, and restrictions on autonomy should remove negative variance but protect positive variance. I think these principles will help with this.

Principle 1: Outcomes must be considered before processes. There is no point reducing teacher autonomy where teachers are already making decisions that result in desired outcomes…

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