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At a higher level, Beijaard et al. In practice, this envelops both pedagogy and behaviour leadership: it determines what the teacher believes is important, what they believe is indispensable and what they believe is of little consequence. In this sense, a teacher has responsibility for duties such as planning and delivering lessons, maintaining a positive learning environment and marking work, Proctor et al.

The reason for this is twofold. This creates an introspective, hierarchical and strictly linear environment in which the primary, or the only, professional relationship is that between subordinates and superiors Ranson, Figure 1. Summary of dimensions and directionality of teacher responsibility and accountability. One must learn to navigate the unwritten and unspoken friendship groups and power networks that underpin, any in many cases truly govern, the day-to-day functioning of the school. Sideways responsibility is conceptualised in two dimensions. In one sense, teachers have responsibility to other teachers — both in the immediate context of a school or setting, and, in a wider way, as part of a national or international profession with a distinct role and identity Sutherland et al.

Each member of the profession has responsibility to all other members to uphold its values and standards, in accordance with the particular orthodoxy of the place and time.

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In the other sense, teachers have responsibility to the wider society of which they are a part, and to the mandate of the democratically-elected controllers of education policy at national and local levels Gee, ; Volkmann and Anderson, This involves exhibiting and encouraging such values as respect, friendship, justice and courage MacIntyre, ; , cited in Ranson, , and teaching skills which will serve not only pupils as individuals, but will also enable them to contribute fully to a happier, healthier, more prosperous and more socially just society in the future Soder, Additionally, and perhaps more controversially, this aspect of professional responsibility might stress the duty of teachers to implement — in good faith — such directives as the National Curriculum and attendant assessment regimes, recognising that the democratically-elected government of the day has the right, and the duty, to shape education policy.

This inward responsibility also extends, crucially, to continuous personal improvement Beijaard et al.

How To Teach Accountability & Responsibility by Jeff Muir Thats Easy Learning

An understanding of the dimensions of teacher responsibility is not complete unless the pupils themselves, and their parents, are considered. Responsibility to pupils covers the familiar territory of creating and maintaining a safe environment both physically and emotionally of planning and teaching high-quality, creative and challenging lessons, responding to the individual and collective needs of pupils and enabling and encouraging academic and personal progress. However, I suggest that viewing the concepts as related but distinct offers a more useful perspective in both theory and in practice.

The process by which a person becomes a qualified teacher is strenuous — involving academic study to at least degree level and a specified amount of formally observed and assessed teaching practice. This creates a bond of trust and assumed competence between education professionals, and legitimises the profession and its members to the wider public Sutherland et al.

Inter- or intra-professional accountability and responsibility have a degree of universality MacIntyre, ; , cited in Ranson, : such constants as a safe and welcoming environment, well-prepared, stimulating and challenging lessons and the appropriate leadership of behaviour are considered necessary by all but the most radical of thinkers Proctor et al.

Managerial accountability, however, is always determined and characterised by the established orthodoxy of the place and time Elliot, Additionally, whilst personal and professional accountability and responsibility have been conceptualised as multilateral and largely reciprocal Dunn, , managerial accountability tends to be strictly linear.

The first point to be made is that a certain degree of managerial accountability is desirable if not necessary. The strenuous process of teacher training and recruitment serves to legitimate the professional judgement of teachers and to secure and maintain public trust in the long term Sutherland et al. Ranson argues that, since the end of the s, governments of both political leanings have believed that public trust is best secured, or can only be secured, by objective data and by systems that enforce regulatory compliance.

Ranson ibid. The key characteristics of this transition are summarised in figure 2 , below. Professional judgement must be informed and justified by objective evidence. Primary responsibility for pupil motivation and progress lies with the pupil and their parents. Primary responsibility for pupil motivation and progress lies with the teacher. Detailed, prescriptive intervention into education at every level Gleeson and Husbands, Assessment of performance always linked to established standards Elliot, Accountability occurs at defined points, and is heavily reliant on quantitative information Dunsire, Figure 2.

The focus on measurable pupil progress has resulted in a proliferation of data Dunsire, 41 , which is then aggregated and released to schools and the general public as a bewildering array of datasets, measures and performance indicators. The constraints of placing the primary means of teacher accountability into a managerial hierarchy are, I suggest, twofold. Firstly, managerial accountability cannot be anecdotal. Ranson presents three fundamental critiques of managerial accountability. Firstly, because teacher accountability is rooted so firmly in hierarchy and bureaucracy, and because it is based on periodical reporting of objective data, it takes a punitive, disciplinary nature that denies teachers agency, casts doubt on their professional judgement and pedagogy and creates an atmosphere of mistrust.

Constructivist Education in an Age of Accountability

Secondly, Ranson ibid. The cause of our condemnation was our own sin. The Law was merely the instrument God used to reveal our sin to us. For example, until we learned from God's Law that coveting was a sin, we couldn't understand that we were sinning when we coveted. Therefore, the Law condemns us only in the sense that it reveals our sinfulness to us. The Law cannot be said to be the cause of our sin and condemnation. We were always sinful and always condemned, but we just didn't know it. Before we discuss verse 9 specifically, let's ask has Paul been talking about children in this passage?

Has he described any exceptions to the principle that all men are condemned for their sin?

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Has he suggested that dying before a certain age will save us from the punishment of sin? Has he alluded in any way to an age of accountability? Clearly, the answer to all these questions is no. Therefore, as we approach verse 9 we must guard against "reading in" any context other than the one Paul himself is teaching. Paul has been consistently arguing that sin and condemnation are universal, and the Law was God's instrument to reveal our sin.

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He has never varied or departed from this line of argument. From this point, we are now ready to understand verses In these verses, Paul teaches using the example of a sinner who doesn't know God's Law. Paul says that apart from a knowledge of the Law, sin is dead. What does Paul mean? Well, we know from Paul's earlier teaching in Romans that the penalty of sin existed even before the giving of the Law to Moses. Paul said death reigned from Adam to Moses, so the penalty of death didn't depend on a knowledge of the Law.

Men were still condemned for their sin even before they understood God's standard for holiness. So when Paul says in Romans that apart from Law, sin is dead, he can't mean that sin doesn't carry a penalty before we know the Law or that our sin isn't counted against us.


This viewpoint would contradict Paul's earlier teaching in chapter 5. Rather, Paul is speaking in the first person from the perspective of a person who is ignorant of their debt before God. Before the Law was revealed, I couldn't appreciate my jeopardy before God. Sin was "dead" in the sense that it was unappreciated, and my conscience enjoyed a false sense of security, thinking myself alive when I was actually spirtually dead.

Once the Law was reveal to me, however, sin "became alive" to me. My conscience became aware of my sinfulness and I came to understand my condemnation before God. Therefore, Paul says in verse 9 that I "died," meaning I lost my false sense of innocence.

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Paul is not suggesting that a person becomes accountable for sin at a later point in life as a result of learning the Law. On the contrary, he is teaching that we were always under condemnation for sin see Romans again , but our awareness that we were condemned before God was brought to life through our knowledge of the Law. We can see even more clearly that this was Paul's meaning in v. Paul asks rhetorically if the Law is the source of our spiritual death and eternal judgment?

Paul responds may it never be. The cause of our condemnation was our sin, and the Law was merely given to reveal our sinfulness to us. In fact, if we were to interpret Romans to mean that a lack of knowledge of the Law is an excuse before God, then what do we conclude about the millions of people who lived and died before the Law was given to Moses?

And what about a person today who lives in an isolated place and has no access to read the Law of God?

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  4. Are they accountable for sin? The Bible says that all men are accountable for sin and all have sinned, with or without knowledge of the Law:. Paul shuts the door on any argument that presumes ignorance of the Law will save us from judgment. There is no excuse of ignorance available to men of any age.

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    Therefore, since the reason for our eternal death is our own sin and not our knowledge of the Law , then all men are under the curse of eternal death from the first moment of life, since all men are born sinful in the likeness of Adam. Our condemnation before God is not a function of our awareness of our sin or of the Law; it is the consequence for having been born sinful.

    Unfortunately, some have ignored these truths of Scripture and have chosen to teach as doctrine a precept of man see Matthew What problem were they trying to solve that couldn't be solved by scripture alone? The Bible's answer centers on a proper understanding of the way ALL men are saved in the first place.

    Furthermore, when we existed in our natural, flesh state as an unbeliever, we were spiritually hostile toward God and we could never subject ourself to God's decrees. Even when Jesus walked the Earth and demonstrated the truth of His claims to be the Christ, yet still people did not accept His testimony.

    Buy Hardcover. Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book This book contrasts authentic approaches to education with classroom practices based primarily on standards external to the individuals who are supposed to learn. Show all. Show next xx. Services for this book Download High-Resolution Cover.