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The evolution of French primary school teachers professionalism in a context of subjective accountability

Abstract : How do French primary school teachers react to performance and accountability policies that have developed in recent years? To what extent are teachers’ social responsibility and professionalism redefined following these policies? To answer to these questions, we will examine the adoption of accountability measures (Dutercq & Cuculou 2013, Dutercq & Lanéelle 2013) and the development of tools to foster students’ achievements (Dutercq & Maleyrot 2017): programme personnalisé de réussite éducative, aide personnalisée, stage de remise à niveau, accompagnement éducatif, etc. These tools are linked to broader accountability instruments, such as national external evaluations, school project, skills personal booklet or status awarded to primary school principals. Then, we will examine how the responsibility attached to the traditional professionalism of primary school teachers is reshaped by the emergence of these new “dispositives” taking into account the French context characterized by self-regulation and “soft” accountability (Mons 2009, Maroy 2015). This conducts to different interpretations and usages of these tools which will lead us to examine the transformation of professional practices. Therefore, we will also question the professionalism claimed by the teachers which is in tension with the professionalism expected by the institution (Gewirtz et al., 2008). Indeed, although the policy of accountability is still mainly rhetorical in France (Pons 2014), the succession of measures and dispositives encourages teachers to (re) act in a context that we describe as “subjective accountability”. More specifically, teachers have to navigate between conditions of effectiveness and ethical legitimacy of the tools used.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 11:20:53 AM
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  • HAL Id : hal-03073465, version 1

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Yves Dutercq, Eric Maleyrot. The evolution of French primary school teachers professionalism in a context of subjective accountability. Colloque international "Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and educational research", European Educational Research Association, Copenhagen, 22-25 Août 2017, 2017, Copenhague, Denmark. ⟨hal-03073465⟩

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