Every Teacher a Changemaker: Reflections on Teacher Agency and Empowerment


  • Chau Meng Huat Universiti Malaya
  • Krishnavanie Shunmugam Universiti Malaya


Teacher as Changemaker, teacher agency, transformation; empowering others, ecojustice, affirmation


In this article, we explore teacher agency through the notion of teacher as changemaker by drawing upon our experiences in both school and university contexts. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we present a personal account of our combined professional experiences of over half a century with how agency is exercised and achieved in our classroom and beyond. This consists of a series of reflections from the classes we have taught and individual students we have mentored, to our response to research and curriculum development. In these reflections, wherever relevant, we highlight what informs our decision-making and motivates our action from merely ‘getting our job done’ to a more humanistic engagement with teaching, mentoring and other professional activities. Second, we evaluate our earlier discussion against the backdrop of the notion of teacher as changemaker. We conclude by highlighting that teachers as changemakers are individuals concerned with personal transformation and growth, that they are committed to empowering others’ lives, and that they enable others to be changemakers.