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Technological Mediations, Lifelong Guidance and the Reshaping of the Teaching Profession

TitleTechnological Mediations, Lifelong Guidance and the Reshaping of the Teaching Profession
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsDe Feo A, Gonçalves C, Romito M
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published02/2019
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordscareer management skills, lifelong guidance, professional culture, SORPRENDO, Teachers

Our paper outlines how lifelong guidance policies constitute a crucial device that solicits the reshaping of teachers’ professional culture. Using a policy instrument approach, we analyse how teachers are recruited into a new educational paradigm and the key role played in this respect by technological mediations enabling particular educational and guidance practices. We discuss, in particular, the case of SORPRENDO, a guidance software used in Italian schools, that was developed by a private company as the main output of a European project involving a public-private partnership. By looking at this software, in the first place, we emphasise how digital devices are not simply neutral and technical solutions to specific problems. They are impregnated with symbolic and political dimensions, carry meanings and constitute the material manifestation of policy orientations. We also show that although this digital tool mobilises teachers with new visions and ideas about guidance and teaching more broadly, it is incapable of ensuring their immediate adherence to this project. Teachers’ professional culture, their everyday practices, the inertia of schools’ organisation and administration constitute a terrain where processes of negotiation and accommodation create tensions and contradictions.