The purpose of this paper is to examine why, despite the advantages they might gain by participating in regulation of teaching by law, Israeli teachers’ unions leaders…
The purpose of this paper is to examine why, despite the advantages they might gain by participating in regulation of teaching by law, Israeli teachers’ unions leaders abandoned the opportunity to obtain the right of regulation and instead preferred an ambiguous role.
This is a policy research study, involving documentary analysis, focusing on one specific bill and data from interviews with teachers’ union leaders and officials who participated in discussions on the bill, and/or in crucial negotiations concerning teaching regulation.
It was found that unions’ leaders preferred to leave the licensing process for teaching as an open-ended and constantly negotiable issue with their employer rather than assuming the role of gatekeeper, understanding that this gave them more space and power to maneuvre in future struggles. Consequently, only the Education Ministry determines who becomes a teacher.
These findings can inform educational policy makers and stakeholders, by giving them a glimpse into policy considerations. New knowledge is offered for the development of theory concerning teaching profession regulation and involvement of the teacher unions in these processes.
Policy makers may re-evaluate their interests as stakeholders in the education system, when they try to shape the profession through regulation of those who seek to become teachers.
The research sheds light on a hidden part of the policy-making puzzle that most studies do not explore and educational leaders prefer not to discuss especially when there is no proof of achievement, nor a public crisis.