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Can teachers be the agents of educational reform - a structural theory perspective

Aauthor: Mon, Aug 28 2023 10:37 AM Click:[] Editor: [赵梓名]

Cheng Hongyan  Lu Yingli

Education Science Forum . 2023(25)

Teachers are the key players in promoting bottom-up school change and grassroots education reform. Using structuration theory as an analytical perspective and in-depth interviews as a methodology, the study found that there are four different types of roles for teachers to participate in educational change, namely, passive implementers, envious observers, active duty-bearers, and pioneering leaders, among which active duty-bearers and pioneering leaders can be regarded as subjects of change, and such teachers can break through structural constraints to a certain extent to take the initiative of implementing educational change behaviours under the auspices of change resources. The ability to reflect and think systematically is the starting point and key ability for teachers to become change agents; the trusting relationship and the social network of teachers' co-operation are the facilitating factors for teachers to become change agents. However, the limitations of the educational power structure, the constraints of the educational management system, and the lack of resources for change in schools prevent teachers from becoming change agents. In this way, the required resources can be supplemented by constructing co-operative networks, reinforcing trusting relationships, and breaking down structural constraints, in order to strengthen teachers' capacities and provide them with the possible space and sustained motivation to become agents of change.


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