Lärares professionaliseringssträvanden vid skolutveckling : Handlingsalternativen stängning och allians

Sammanfattning: The overall purpose of this thesis was to contribute to the understanding of teachers’ endeavours to their own professionalization in connection with developmental work at school. The main purpose was to analyse how well these endeavours could be interpreted and understood in terms of the action-altematives of closure and alliance.This thesis comprises empirical investigations of three developmental activities involving various categories of teachers. The first study concerned nursing instructors in the upper secondary school and the college of higher learning in an experimental activity dealing with nursing practice, the second study concerned a pre-school teacher, a recreation instructor and junior level teachers in an experiment with school start for six-year-olds, and the third study concerned immigrant language teachers of Finnish in a developmental acivity, whose purpose was to improve the quality of bilingual teaching.A qualitative approach was chosen with interviews as the principal method for the collection of data for the descriptions of teachers’ endeavours to professionalize in practice. These descriptions were later analysed and interpreted in the light of concepts adopted from the neo-Weberian perspective in combination with the more liberal attitudes characteristic of the perspective of ”the Third Path”. Inclusion, dual closure, and demarcation, and, in addition the opening alternative of vertical alliance were the activity options included in the analysis.The results showed that teachers’ endeavours to professionalize occur through interwoven efforts aiming at competence and position, seeing position and improvement of position as decisive for the possibilities of the development of competence. Furthermore the results showed that teachers put into practice closure as well as alliance with a purpose to maintain or improve their own position. The conditions of the individual case decided the choice of action-alternative and the result of the endeavours. With a single exception, where the teachers chose an alliance which was primarily horizontally directed, the teachers’ endeavours to professionalize were inconsiderable. The differences noticeable in teachers’ endeavours to professionalize have been discussed in the light of their different conditions as to their positional starting point, the present impendent scenario, the existence of real activity options and how well the chosen strategy was manifest in official documentary guidelines. Furthermore the various conditions for the initiation of the developmental activities have been discussed and also to what extent the intentions behind the change-over to the goal-related and decentralized educational system has won legitimacy on various levels of the educational system.