Understanding Teacher Authority

Linqiong Lv, Jiaqiang Hu


Despite the fact that teacher authority is an ever-present and fundamental component of everyday school life and classroom experiences, teacher authority remains poorly understood and insufficiently researched. By reviewing the sociological and educational literature on teacher authority, the study outlined the current status of teacher authority research, explicated the institutional and personal sources of legitimate teacher authority, and delineated four perspectives for understanding teacher authority: a) teacher authority is legitimate domination generated and justified by professional and personal sources of legitimacy; b) teacher authority functions through pedagogical discourse which is a both instructional and regulative process of transmitting value-laden knowledge; c) teacher authority is in dynamic teacher-student relationships where teachers cannot automatically possess but have to earn students’ respect; d) teacher authority emits educational influences and essentially serves the moral order of conscience. The study calls for more research into teacher authority especially against the backdrop of declining teacher authority yet ever growing expectations and demands on teachers and teaching outcomes.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20849/jed.v5i2.916


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Journal of Education and Development  ISSN 2529-7996 (Print)  ISSN 2591-7250 (Online)

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