The following analysis is based on a case study of three years
duration (1983-1986), and focuses on a physical education department
at a large English comprehensive school which became involved in a
teacher initiated curriculum innovation when a new Head of
Department was appointed in September 1983. The research process
was guided by the grounded theory approach, and the use of
prolonged observation coupled with reflexive interviews allowed the
emergent concerns of the teachers in relation to the innovation to
be made evident, as competing definitions of both subject paradigm
and pedagogy clashed. Within the department, several micropolitical
strategies were constructed to cope with the pressures of change,
which legitimised a dislocation between the 'classroom' and
'educational' contexts of the school, allowing some of the teachers
to deflect the implications of the innovation for their own practice.
It is suggested that the strategies employed by teachers arise
within the social context of the school as a work place that
provides, dilemmas, opportunities and possibilities within which the
teacher constructs, modifies and abandons coping strategies to
enhance both long and short term self interests.
Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.