Can autonomy be imposed? Examining teacher (re)positioning during the ongoing curriculum change in Cyprus
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For the past few years, the Republic of Cyprus has been pursuing a major educational reform across all levels of mandatory education, focusing especially on curriculum change, for the implementation of which in-service teachers have undergone a series of professional development seminars. Individual and focus group interviews with in-service elementary teachers, regarding their sense of professionalism within this curriculum change process, revealed that teachers positioned themselves largely onto different points on a continuum. These are conceptualized as positions veering between teachers' sense of minimum and maximum autonomy over their participation in the development and introduction of the new official curriculum. Framed by a traditionally centralized context, these positions were discursively negotiated in contradictory ways which allowed multiple positionings by each teacher. The paper concludes with the implications of these findings for understanding teacher professionalism and positioning, as well as for considering how this might relate to curriculum change and implementation processes.