Professional Development for Educational Management

By Lesley Kydd; Megan Crawford et al. | Go to book overview

9
Teacher professionalism and
managerialism

LESLEY KYDD


Introduction

This chapter considers teaching as a profession and the ways in which teachers consider themselves to be both professionals and managers. From the perspective of educational managers, professionalism is important since managing professionals within educational institutions raises complex issues such as those associated with professional autonomy and practices which are not always easily resolved. The chapter explores the ways in which notions of teacher professionalism are changing and the factors, particularly an increasing emphasis on management, which are contributing to these changes. Professionalism is an important concept for teachers since it shapes how we do our jobs; it also raises certain expectations on the part of the community and society in general about how we will behave and what kind of standards we are expected to meet.


Teacher professionalism

Traditionally teacher professionalism has been explained on a comparative model – researchers have compared teaching to both the traditional professions of the law, medicine and the church as well as to the newer professions. They have sought to define criteria common to particular occupational groups which would lead them to be able to say that a group is a profession. In other words achieving professional status meant that occupational groups would go through a series of processes and changes which would allow them to meet more and more of the criteria which define a profession. They would then arrive at some kind of end state – the profession – which was seen as the superior occupational structure: professional status is desirable and confers upon those professionals certain privileges. Thus claims to professional status have derived from the exercise of professional judgement, professional autonomy, the right to self-regulation,

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