This final section summarizes the theoretical basis for the book and lists those publications where it is set out in detail, so that you can explore it further if you wish to. These publications themselves contain extensive references that relate to most of the topics covered in the book, and provide the foundation for what is said here. However, some additional sources on specific points are also given below.
What do they do? What affects what they do? And how do they do it? These three questions form a useful framework for thinking about any profession. Here, they are applied to teaching and its management. The three questions stem originally from Aristotle's concept of poiesis and in particular his account of medicine (see Squires, G (in press) 'Praxis: a dissenting note', Journal of Curriculum Studies). Although Aristotle was the first to draw the distinction between theory and practice, the way he employed these terms was very different from the way we typically use them today. They were formulated in the context of a wider discussion on the nature of the good life and related primarily to aspects or walks of life: theoria referred to the philosophical life with its connotations of contemplation, detachment and understanding, whereas praxis referred to the conduct of public and private life. Aristotle did not talk about the relationship (or gap) between theory and practice because for him they were two quite different domains, each with its own kind of thinking.
Occupations and specific activities fell under a third and less familiar heading, poeisis. This is sometimes translated as 'making', but the real sense is of an activity that aims to produce something beyond itself: some artefact or effect. All but the simplest forms of poiesis constitute a techne, and Aristotle gives over thirty examples of technai, ranging from manual crafts through sports and arts to activities that in our day we would regard as professions: architecture, military leadership, and in particular medicine, which he refers to frequently (his father was a physician).