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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2007v32n1.1

Abstract

The impact of economic rationalism on teachers’ working lives has been documented extensively, particularly in the UK. This article provides a case study of its impact in the early 1990s in a small Australian state, Tasmania, to illustrate that although the particular institutional forms through which it is expressed may differ its impact is similar. We do this by focusing on teachers' stories of change that have stress as a major theme. Stress is partially explained by increased workloads, teachers teaching outside their specialist areas and a changing student population. However, the ideology of economic rationalism has heightened stress because of the perceived lack of administrative care. A major stressor is trying to maintain a professional ideology of caring while, concurrently, accommodating to economic rationality. The clash of ideologies leads teachers to reduce commitment by leaving teaching, moving to part-time employment, withdrawing into classroom teaching and/or rationalising their workload with, they perceive, a decrease in the quality of teaching.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2007v32n1.1