A. Stoleroff, D. Alves, P. Santos

Beginning in 2007 Portugal implemented major educational reforms in response to economic and political pressures upon the country. These reforms were aimed not only at the school level but at the educational system as a whole and resulted in profound changes in the nature of teachers’ roles and work. Consequently, teachers have had to respond to multiple organizational and professional challenges, such as increased political pressure on the educational processes and a new managerial approach to their work. The reforms were opposed by unions as producing an increase in bureaucratic control of teaching and competition between teachers and initially were overwhelmingly rejected by the teachers themselves - as was made clear by their massive mobilization in the protests called by the unions. This reform was technocratic in conception and implementation, largely bypassing the actors involved and their resistance, and is likely to have had long-lasting effects upon the relations between teachers and the government. It therefore makes sense to inquire as to the effects that these measures have had on the current and future motivation of teachers and their perspectives towards the profession. Do teachers maintain their opposition to the reforms or have they acquiesced to the new regime? The answers to these questions involve a subjective tension between the institutional and collective action of teachers, revealing their relative permeability. Teachers are the active agents in the reinterpretation of these policies and we are therefore interested in analyzing the meanings that teachers attach to them, i.e., the sets of emotions, images and opinions that feed the representations of the complex repercussions of such reforms upon their professional lives, including the levels of professional identification and commitment. This paper is derived from a research project on the (re)construction of teachers professional identities and will make use of the results from both interviewing and a survey questionnaire of 2000 teachers at all levels of education and regions of the country in order to ascertain this rooted and relational subjectivity, which is shaping the present and future expectations and action of Portuguese teachers. The analysis will explore the extent to which the meanings attributed to these reforms are mediated by professional generation and the levels of associational and political involvement.