This chapter will investigate the nature and locus of professional difficulties which have informed developments in teacher training. These have often focused upon the tensions between the theory and practice of teaching. The root of much of this anxiety lies in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century debates over the status and definition of teaching as an art, craft or science, which resonated with notions of professionalism, identity and autonomy. These debates in turn informed attitudes about professional preparation and best practice. Such ideas, however, could not then and indeed cannot now be separated from the broader intellectual, cultural, social and ideological context of education and schooling. Just because conceptual frameworks which described the essence of teaching were constructed did not necessarily mean that all teachers aspired to or reached these ideals.
In seeking to penetrate the complexities of this subject the chapter will examine definitions, conceptualizations, meanings and metaphors of the good or ideal teacher constructed through art, craft or science designations. It will be suggested that these ways of thinking about teaching were interrelated, and whilst emphases on the art, craft and science constructions changed over time, the flow of ideas between them reflected an important set of understandings about the essence of teaching-'power to teach'. The chapter is in four parts. First, the description of teaching as art will be examined. Secondly, the construction of teaching as craft will be analysed and it will be suggested that art and craft designations were difficult to distinguish. Thirdly, the influence of the movement to elevate the study of education onto the level of a rational, scientific basis will be traced. How this movement, which in itself was highly complex and contradictory, shaped a science of teaching based upon rational principles, will then be considered. Finally, the concept of 'power to teach' as representing the interface of art, craft and science designations will be introduced.