Professionalization of progress and expertise among teacher educators in Iceland: A Bourdieuean interpretation

Ingólfur Á Jóhannesson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers the use of the conceptual framework of Pierre Bourdieu to study curriculum reform and the professionalization of teacher educators in Iceland. It argues that it is theoretically productive to interpret professionalism as the production of expert knowledge and learned discourse. The learned discourse of the Icelandic teacher educators and other education reformers, based on child-centered perspectives, developmental psychology, and child-centered curriculum theory, has become their symbolic capital in the field of educational reform. The paper considers to what extent the discourse on teacher professionalism in Iceland in the 1980s has merely occupied the space (social field) wherein education reformers work. It argues that those who have become "professionalized" are first and foremost teacher educators, curriculum development "professionals," and teacher leaders, and points out that this was possible in an intermediate social space with much room for a creative redefinition of what can count as capital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1993


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