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Teacher Autonomy Becoming a Thing of the Past

1 min

A good teacher is one of the most important factors in the successful education of a child. But are bureaucrats increasingly tying the hands of good teachers and hindering them from effective teaching?

A recent study from the Department of Education suggests that might be the case. The study surveyed teachers on their level of autonomy in six areas, including textbook and content selection, student discipline, and teaching techniques.

While a number of teachers still felt they had a moderate level of autonomy in the classroom, the number who believed they had a low level of autonomy had risen from 18% in 2003 to 26% in 2011. The number of teachers reporting a low level of autonomy particularly increased in small towns and rural areas.

Common sense tells us that those who are closest to a situation know best how to handle it. Would our children have a better education if education decisions were taken out of the hands of bureaucrats and placed in the hands of the teachers (and parents) who are most familiar with students?
Image Credit: TeenNick

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.

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