In recent decades, the governance of educational systems has experienced dramatic changes in many countries. Schools have been given more autonomy whilst being held increasingly accountable at the central level through standardized testing and other forms of external evaluation. The mechanisms of performance-based accountability (PBA) and the consequences attached to test results vary. In high-stakes systems, teachers’ careers are more directly connected to students’ performance, and low performing schools might risk closure, whereas in lower-stakes systems, the official administrative consequences of accountability for school actors are more symbolic than material. The main aim of this paper is to understand the impact of different forms of PBA on teachers’ work from a comparative perspective. Most research on this topic is based on single-context case studies, which makes it difficult to understand the impact of policy factors and professional contexts in teachers’ decisions and autonomy. To address this challenge, we review recent investigations (2017-2020) on the topic and compare their findings in different teachers' regulatory contexts. The review includes 101 articles from the SCOPUS and Web of Science databases. We find that evidence on the impact of PBA on teachers’ perceptions and beliefs are variegated, and that the implications of PBA on teachers’ autonomy does not only depend on the level of accountability stakes, but on teachers’ professional regulation.
Research has shown that in many contexts, the transformation of the public sector associated with new public management (NPM) reforms and performance-based accountability (PBA) has had profound implications for public sector workers' practices, identities and emotional experiences. Focusing on the education sector, in this paper we aim to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between PBA policies and teachers’ emotions by conducting a scoping review of the scientific literature. Our review, which is based on a final sample of 63 articles published between the years 2000-2021 obtained from the SCOPUS database, identifies two main bodies of research. The first deals with an examination of teachers’ emotions and shows how PBA is a crucial part of a changing professional environment that accentuates and/or modifies feelings and emotions already inherent to the teaching profession. The focal point of the second strand of research is the effect of PBA on teachers’ emotions; here, we identify research exploring the emotional effects of PBA, as well as the mechanisms behind different emotional experiences, how teachers deal with emotions emerging from PBA policies and a number of factors that intensify or weaken the emotional impact of PBA. On the basis of our review, limitations of existing research and gaps in the understanding of the relationship between PBA and teachers’ emotions are identified and promising lines of future research formulated
This article introduces the special issue “Global Perspectives on High-Stakes Teacher Accountability Policies”. The aim of the special issue is to provide insights into a diverse set of policies focusing on teachers’ accountability, including the underpinning ideas and cultural and socio-economic contexts of these policies, as well as their effects on teachers’ work, the teaching profession and the broader educational environment. While these articles highlight the influence of the “global testing culture” on education systems world-wide, they also demonstrate the need for understanding accountability systems as context-specific. As such, we urge scholars to consider the social, historical, political and geographical contexts within which their research is situated and to promote a research agenda that looks at the specific responses and effects that accountability policies produce in different regulatory settings. This introductory article, first, clarifies the main focus and conceptual framework of the special issue and, second, presents an overview of the papers included in the issue and their main contents.