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The role of teachers initiative in building a culture of innovation:an Ethnographic case study Isobel Murta Branco.

The role of teachers initiative in building a culture of innovation:an Ethnographic case study Isobel Murta Branco.
The role of teachers initiative in building a culture of innovation:an Ethnographic case study Isobel Murta Branco.

This thesis examines the role of teachers' initiative in building a culture of innovation in one Portuguese vocational high school in Fine Arts and the relationship between the culture of innovation, teacher's leadership, school culture and the educational community. It also presents the impact of teachers' initiative on: (i) the changing curriculum; (ii) educational practices; (iii) professional development. The research took place in a context of Portuguese educational reform, which stressed change in educational practices and schools. The study was also located in a selected review of literature about change and culture.

The study took the form of an ethnographic case study, which characterised the culture of a group of teachers, involved in one mathematics educational project, eliciting their beliefs, values, norms and patterns of behaviour. It also examined the relationship between the culture of the project and the school culture as a dynamic process identifying values, beliefs and ideologies shared by people in the school.

Three main findings emerged from this cultural analysis. First, teachers did have the ability to generate an alternative curriculum to the dominant state model for teaching mathematics for Fine Arts students. This was underpinned by democratic values and focused on the process of students' learning rather than teacher-directed instruction. Secondly, this group of teachers formed a distinctive subculture in schools and took an active role in researching their own experience of changing classroom practice. Thirdly, the research demonstrated that it was not possible for this subculture to have major impact on the culture of the whole school. However, the educational community (mathematics educators and state department) acknowledged the innovation, the state department subsequently including it in the national mathematics curriculum.

University of Southampton
Branco, Isobel.Murta
Branco, Isobel.Murta

Branco, Isobel.Murta (2002) The role of teachers initiative in building a culture of innovation:an Ethnographic case study Isobel Murta Branco. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis examines the role of teachers' initiative in building a culture of innovation in one Portuguese vocational high school in Fine Arts and the relationship between the culture of innovation, teacher's leadership, school culture and the educational community. It also presents the impact of teachers' initiative on: (i) the changing curriculum; (ii) educational practices; (iii) professional development. The research took place in a context of Portuguese educational reform, which stressed change in educational practices and schools. The study was also located in a selected review of literature about change and culture.

The study took the form of an ethnographic case study, which characterised the culture of a group of teachers, involved in one mathematics educational project, eliciting their beliefs, values, norms and patterns of behaviour. It also examined the relationship between the culture of the project and the school culture as a dynamic process identifying values, beliefs and ideologies shared by people in the school.

Three main findings emerged from this cultural analysis. First, teachers did have the ability to generate an alternative curriculum to the dominant state model for teaching mathematics for Fine Arts students. This was underpinned by democratic values and focused on the process of students' learning rather than teacher-directed instruction. Secondly, this group of teachers formed a distinctive subculture in schools and took an active role in researching their own experience of changing classroom practice. Thirdly, the research demonstrated that it was not possible for this subculture to have major impact on the culture of the whole school. However, the educational community (mathematics educators and state department) acknowledged the innovation, the state department subsequently including it in the national mathematics curriculum.

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Published date: 2002

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Local EPrints ID: 464805
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/464805
PURE UUID: 3a755d27-9928-477b-b3fe-fb3ddf8e9e2d

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2022 00:02
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 03:12

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Author: Isobel.Murta Branco

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