A Discretionary Toolkit: Reasoning When Teaching Controversial Issues in Norwegian Upper Secondary School
Using a toolkit approach in combination with the concept of street-level bureaucracy and theories of discretion, this article has empirically investigated the resources that influence teachers’ discretionary reasoning when teaching controversial issues. The analysis has been based on 32 classroom observations at two upper secondary schools in Oslo, Norway, in one Religion and Ethics and one Social Science class, and interviews with 16 teachers who taught the same subjects. The results have shown that professional competence, professional and personal values, and relationships with pupils worked as a toolkit of resources that teachers could draw upon when making discretionary judgments in different contexts. A better understanding of teachers’ use of discretionary reasoning may enable curriculum developers and policymakers to support teachers in the complex social landscape of teaching controversial issues.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Silje Andresen
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