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Professional autonomy of elementary school teachers in the second half of the nineteenth century: the case of Slovenia

Mojca Peček (2017) Professional autonomy of elementary school teachers in the second half of the nineteenth century: the case of Slovenia. Espacio, tiempo y educación, 4 (2). pp. 337-352. ISSN 2340-7263

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    This article analyses the means and boundaries of the professional autonomy that elementary school teachers enjoyed in the second half of the nineteenth century in the territory of modern-day Slovenia, previously part of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. While their work had been regulated in great detail since the Elementary School Act of 1774, which laid down even the contents and methods of teaching to be employed, the subsequent 1869 Act stipulated that teachers could become members of school boards as a means of providing them with an opportunity to influence education policies. Teachers were required to attend teachers’ conferences where, among other things, participants discussed successful teaching methods and developed detailed curricula and lesson plans. Teachers expected these changes to bring them greater autonomy, as well as a say in school policies and greater public confidence in their professional authority. This paper contains an analysis of whether or not these expectations were met. Our analysis of school board and teachers’ conference reports published in the Slovenian educational press shows that in this period an important shift occurred in the way that teaching effectiveness was ensured and teachers’ work supervised. A system was put in place which at the same time facilitated and monitored the implementation of teachers’ ideas, and ensured and restricted their professional freedom. There was a significant change in authoritarian techniques, which quickly developed yet still facilitated the growth in teachers’ professional authority, as teachers gained power and space to fight the authorities for recognition of their status and ideas.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: teacher, autonomy, primary school
    Related URLs:
    URLURL Type
    http://www.espaciotiempoyeducacion.com/ojs/index.php/ete/article/view/155/132Alternative location
    https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/11762249Alternative location
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Divisions: Department of Education Studies > Chair of Pedagogy
    Item ID: 4829
    Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 10:33
    Last Modified: 09 Oct 2017 10:33
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4829

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