Chapter 1 The Impact of Reform Policies on Teachers and Their Practices

Case Studies from Four Countries

In: Education beyond Crisis

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Educational reform tops the world agenda. Since the introduction of international testing programs (i.e., PISA), nations have competed with one another to gain international prominence. Educational improvement has become a $2-trillion business annually. Policymakers are seeking to find the next-best thing to lift local and national scores. Their mandates, however, can only be realized by teachers who, by law, must implement them. For their part, teachers want to be curriculum makers, not curriculum implementers, enacting others’ demands. They know that policies cannot be implemented cleanly due to human and contextual complexities. In this chapter, researchers from four countries (Brazil, Canada, Portugal, United States) each introduce one or more recent reform policies that were adopted and illuminate how it/they affected local teachers and their practices in unanticipated ways.

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