Teachers’ perceived professional space and their agency

Helma W. Oolbekkink-Marchand, Linor L. Hadar, Kari Smith, Ingrid Helleve, Marit Ulvik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to increase student performance, governments stress the importance of standardization for teaching which is seen as a threat to teachers’ professionalism. In this small-scale study we investigated the way teachers use their professional space in these changing circumstances. We studied eighteen cases of secondary education teachers in-depth, using observations, interviews, and storylines. Our analyses revealed two types of trajectories which can be characterized by bounded and contested agency. In both trajectories the importance of personal factors and environmental factors were acknowledged. Insights into the relation between perceived space and agency can promote our understanding of teacher professionalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Development of teacher agency
  • Professional space
  • Professionalism
  • Teacher agency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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