From artefact to tool: The development of teachers' collective agency in the enactment of reform


Eddy Spicer, D. H., 2011. From artefact to tool: The development of teachers' collective agency in the enactment of reform. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 6 (4), pp. 359-380.

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    This study examines the mutual development of person and collective in the enactment of instructional reform through professional collaboration. The research uses sociocultural perspectives to frame the connection among person and collective in terms of the emergence of collective agency. Teachers’ collective agency comprises collaborative action that transforms institutionally-defined artifacts into collectively-derived tools for teaching practice. Data include a detailed transcript of a 39-minute sequence pivotal to the enactment of reform principles by teaching staff in a US public secondary school. The analysis, which draws on views of language and semiotic mediation that complement sociocultural perspectives, traces one interactive move in the realignment of social relations in the collective that contributed to the uptake and transformation of an artifact introduced as part of the reform initiative. Findings of the study provide a dynamic view of the development of collective agency as specific alignments among person, collective, and institution in the enactment of reform. Implications for practice include highlighting conditions and patterns of interaction conducive to the mutual adaptation of institutionally-derived forms and collectively-mediated actions. The study contributes a novel approach to illuminating the institutional dynamics of educational change in the everyday interactions that constitute professional work in schools.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsEddy Spicer, D. H.
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    Uncontrolled Keywordseducational change,collective agency,semiotic mediation
    DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Education
    Research CentresCentre for Socio-cultural and Activity Theory Research (CSAT)
    Publisher Statementco_agen_preprin_ms.pdf: This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the Pedagogies: An International Journal ©2011 Taylor & Francis; Pedagogies: An International Journal is available online at:
    ID Code26208


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