Extension and remodelling of teachers' perceived professional space
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Education 
Original versionTeachers and Teaching. 2019, 25 (8), 1030-1042. https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2019.1702519
This article examines the sociocultural shaping of teacher agency by focusing on how various conditions mediate teachers’ perceived professional space. Agency is understood from a sociocultural perspective as the mediated capacity to act, which is achieved and exercised in a professional space, and, consequently, shaped by the perceptions of this space. Based on thematic and interpretative analysis of interviews with Norwegian L1 upper secondary teachers, the article identifies several conditions that mediate the teachers’ perceived professional space: the exam, the curriculum, accountability demands, school leadership, colleagues, students, learning materials, and subject traditions and purposes. Two aspects of mediation are identified, what we respectively term extension and remodelling. Extension conveys how mediating conditions provide resources or constraints that contribute to expanding or narrowing the teachers’ perceived professional space. Remodelling, however, conveys how mediating conditions qualitatively transform the perceived professional space. Findings highlight the subject as a resource for teachers, and teacher agency as socioculturally shaped by the perceived size and character of professional space.