Article

Teacher Unions and Associations

Diana D'Amico

in Education

ISBN: 9780199756810
Published online December 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0045
Teacher Unions and Associations

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  • Education
  • Organization and Management of Education
  • Philosophy and Theory of Education
  • Schools Studies
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The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are key players in public education, education-reform debates, and politics. At the same time, they have garnered significant criticism from policymakers and scholars. While teacher organizations are a centerpiece of current educational discourse, they are at once shaped by and a response to a variety of social and historical forces. The first two sections of this entry provide broader conceptual frameworks, considering the ways in which the historical structures of public schooling, relationships between teachers and administrators, gender dynamics, and definitions of professionalism shape teacher unions and associations. This literature casts fresh light on current debates and presents new ways of considering the perennial tensions that surround teacher organizations. To this end, this entry begins with a listing of scholarship that examines the historical roots of teacher organizations as well as a framework for considering public-sector unions. The second heading examines teachers, administrators, and the school structure in historical perspective. Divided into three sections, the literature listed here calls attention to the gendered dynamics that shape teachers’ work lives, the relationships between teachers and administrators, and the question of profession. The scholarship included in the third section offers detailed analyses of teacher organizations and exposes readers to the intricacies and politicization of the debates surrounding teacher representation. This heading lists qualitative and quantitative research pertaining to the economic and noneconomic impact of collective bargaining. Divided into three sections, the literature listed here investigates the impact of bargaining on school finance and the public education system, broadly conceived; the impact of collective bargaining on achievement and education quality; and the impact of collective bargaining on teachers’ work lives. The final heading offers literature related to teacher organizations, reform, and politics. The literature listed under this heading animates a salient component of the larger debates as these scholars grapple with the appropriate role of teachers and their organizations in public schooling. Divided into four sections, this heading begins with literature related to membership, motivation, and militancy. The next section offers literature related to teacher-organization politics; the third section lists literature pertaining to teacher-organization reform; and the last lists literature that considers teacher organizations as reformers.

Article.  10626 words. 

Subjects: Education ; Organization and Management of Education ; Philosophy and Theory of Education ; Schools Studies ; Teaching Skills and Techniques

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