Teachers in Neoinstitutional and World Culture Theory

LeTendre, Gerald


Theorizing the role that teachers play in national education systems in a period of rapid globalization has proven challenging for social scientists and comparative education theorists alike. In accounting for the manifold roles and functions of teachers over time, theory must account for both cultural persistence (institutionalization) as well as cultural change at multiple levels. As teachers did not play a prominent role in early neoinstitutional theories, later researchers in the world culture strand of theorizing had to account for interactions between transnational forces and local effects, postulating what role teachers played in adapting and resisting or promoting specific reforms by drawing on culturalist studies as well as theories of the social construction of reality. World culture scholars have increasingly investigated topics like sensemaking, teacher work roles, teacher quality, and the regimes of teacher beliefs. Future work in this tradition will likely grapple with issues of cultural dynamics at multiple levels.

Comparative Education Review

Ahead of print

Published online November 04, 2021