In this study, the occupational life histories of a small group of female Montessori teachers in Sweden are in focus. Of interest has been to shed light on underlying values, ways in which professional roles reflect personal values as well as teachers' reflections on the present and future perspectives of their profession. Of special interest has been to discover if and to what extent these teachers are able or willing to adapt to changing conditions within the overall educational establishment, i.e. in the light of current pedagogical development and research. Data exploration based on journals, interviews, written reflections and conversations has culminated in a collection of occupational life histories. These in turn have been able to shed light on the ways in which personal and professional lives are formed, influenced and developed. Tendencies towards continuity or change in education depend to a great extent on the ways in which teachers are able to critically reflect about how they think and what they do. Taking seriously what teachers have to say is in fact essential in order to understand the forces that, among other things, govern and sway teachers' inner as well as outer motivations, something I believe to be of relevance and concern to all involved in teaching and educational processes
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