They’re Throwing Mud at Us. At Least Now They Have a Reason: Work, Control and Values in Teachers’ Work

Pawel Krzyworzeka, Amanda Krzyworzeka


This research aims to understand how teachers perceive control mechanisms embedded in the educational system in Poland. In the article, we analyse teachers and school administrators’ online discussions evoked by the decision of Polish Ministry of National Education to close schools in March 2020 in order to protect teachers and students from coronavirus infection. We show that management control mechanisms are crucial in understanding teachers and school administrators’ behaviour. On the one hand, direct forms of control frustrate and demotivate teachers. On the other hand, a combination of diverse forms of control makes teachers comply and continue working despite the growing will to rebel against the system. We argue that the COVID pandemic exposed previously existing problems; therefore, the article’s findings are also applicable beyond the pandemic context.


management control, COVID-19, educational system, Poland, values, work, levers of control

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603