In historical context. the issue whether learning is a professional position or non. has been controversial. Harmonizing to Leiter ( 1978 ) instruction is a semi-professional occupation because instructors are directed to execute certain criterions by their higher-ups. As a consequence of this. teachers’ single liberty and determination devising powers are limited. Some writers such as Carter ve Passy ( 2007 ) . Ozga ( 1981 ) believe that it is more utile to near professionalism as an ideological construct that is used for occupational control on instructors. Another attack reflects a positive attitude towards teacher professionalism and identifies the term as the best and highest criterion for instructors ( Phelps. 2006 ) . This paper seeks to first specify a profession and accordingly highlight what aspects make learning be construed as a profession. Further. it will seek to set up what aspects militate against professionalism in instruction and what schemes have been adopted to heighten the position of learning as a profession.
WHAT IS A PROFESSION?
The footings “profession” and “professor” have their etymological roots in the Latin for profess. To be a professional or a professor was to profess to be an expert in some accomplishment or field of cognition ( Baggini. 2005 ) . In 1975. Hoyle defined professionalism as ‘those schemes and rhetorics employed by members of an business in seeking to better position. salary and conditions’ ( cited in Evans. 2007 ) . In his another work. Hoyle ( 2001 ) states that professionalism is related to the betterment in the quality of service instead than the sweetening of position. Englund ( 1996 ) explains the construct as a focal point on the inquiry of what makings and acquired capacities. competences required for the successful exercising of an business.
If we synthesize the definitions in the literature it would do to reason that a profession is a organic structure that meets the standards posited by David ( 2000 ) . David ( 2000 ) cites five professionalism features as follows. One. professions provide a particular public service based on accrued cognition. accomplishments and wisdom. Two. they involve a theoretically every bit good as practically grounded expertness. Three. they have a distinguishable codification of professional moralss that binds its members into a fraternity. Four. they require organisation and ordinance for intents of enlisting and subject. Five. professional practicians require a high grade of single autonomy- independency of judgment- for effectual pattern.
WHAT MAKES TEACHING A PROFESSION?
The inquiry as to whether learning meets the standards attributed to other professions such as medical specialty. jurisprudence. divinity among others has ever been problematic. However. a close examination indicates some factors that justify that learning should be qualified as a profession. First. instructors are in high demand because they give their services in the capacity of persons with specialised cognition and accomplishments. Baggini ( 2005 ) claims that for today’s instructors. professionalism is interpreted in footings of what extent they are able to utilize their accomplishments and experiences related to their profession. Second. for instructors to execute their responsibilities aptly. they make usage of a organic structure of specialised cognition drawn from assorted subjects’ countries ; makes rational professional determinations guided by professional moralss ; do of import determinations on behalf of scholars which relates to their public assistance such as calling counsel and guidance.
Third. instructors facilitate the acquisition of cognition. accomplishments and attitudes by scholars which helps them to work efficaciously in the society. They strive to remain alive to cultural forces and understand them in order to supply valid instructional options. Fourth. instructors undergo a period of academic preparation and an appropriate continuance of formal and strict professional preparation which is in tandem with practical experience in the field. Fifth. instructors influence the hereafter orientations of scholars. psychologically. socially. economically and in other important ways. They are concerned in an of import manner. with the entire development of human existences – physical. rational. emotional. societal. moral and religious.
ASPECTS THAT MILITATE AGAINST PROFESSIONALISM IN Teaching
Albeit holding some factors that justify instruction as a profession. professionalism tends to be weak among instructors particularly in developing states. Teaching has been in some cases termed as a “semi” or “quasi” profession merely because it does non run into the standards of a true profession ( David. 2000 ) . A battalion of factors still barricade the promotion of learning to full professional position. Among them include: One. instructors lack coherence and are earnestly fragmented in footings of the footing of making. specialisation and professional variegation. It is in learning where we find one of the highest grade of diverseness. There are both trained and untrained instructors runing from fresh untrained secondary school departers to professors talking in universities. Such variegation lowers the overall position of learning as a profession. Two. there is deficiency of monopoly and as a consequence learning lacks the mystique and fear associated with other professions as instructors are regarded as ordinary workers with common topographic point accomplishments.
The learning profession does non hold the agencies to except those who have non met the demands of being a instructor. Teaching is hence seen as a simple occupation that requires basic cognition and about any literate individual can get the hang with pattern. Three. Autonomy is one of the chief focal points featured in professionalism features. Forsyth and Danisiewicz ( 1985 ) contributes professionalism arguments saying that. the undertakings of professionals are of import. sole and complex. so professionals should hold the independent determination doing powers free from external force per unit areas. More specifically. instructors are monitored by their decision makers in footings of the consistence between their public presentation and the criterions set earlier. As a consequence of this. they are directed and shaped by the decision makers to accomplish organisational ends so their liberty is restricted. Samuels ( 1970 ) supports these statements asseverating that public school instructors do non hold a high degree of authorization since the major determinations in educational scenes are non taken by them.
Four. learning lacks self-regulation unlike other established professions. Teachers tend to hold weak province dominated professional organisations with several trade brotherhoods. They are subjected to bureaucratic regulations and ordinances and their work conditions are decided by the governments instead than themselves. Teachers do non keep control over the service which they offer or over the preparation and work criterions of their members. For case in Kenya. the codification of ordinances for instructors is prepared by the Teachers Service Commission ( TSC ) which is besides the employer. Five. instructors seldom enjoy the same on the job environment as other professionals. In Africa for illustration. the instruction environment is characterized by crowded schoolrooms due to quickly turning scholar populations. insecure and hapless healthful conditions of school edifices. inadequate instruction and learning stuffs etc.
Consequently hapless working conditions. hapless footings of service and hapless calling chances are some factors that cause the image of learning to be disregarded by members of the populace. Six. the teachers’ absolute and comparative size is besides another hindrance. Teaching in most states is a mass business. which besides militates against professional exclusivity. The learning force in Kenya for illustration histories for more than two tierces of public sector employment. This size coupled with educational makings means that instructors are paid much less than other mainstream professions. Seven. teacher keeping is besides another barrier as other alternate employment chances exist for instructors with high academic and professional makings. Teaching is hence chosen as a last resort for those who can non do it elsewhere and accordingly as a stepping rock to better paying occupations. Finally. worsening instruction criterions ; although they may be attributed to a combination of many factors. instructors are besides blamed to a big extent.
Scheme THAT HAVE BEEN ADOPTED TO ENHANCE THE STATUS OF TEACHING AS A PROFESSION Despite the many factors that militate against professionalism in learning. it does non intend that nil has been done to heighten the position of learning as a profession. The increasing figure of teachers’ professional associations in Africa are non merely refering themselves in betterment of wages and conditions of service but besides supplying professional development for their members. Some of these schemes include: One. increased force per unit area and agitation by instructors through their trade brotherhoods has resulted to better wage. improved footings of service. better working environments and publicity chances. Two. attempts have late been directed at bettering the academic and professional makings of instructors through a figure of ventures instituted partially by the authorities and by single instructors. Some include raising the entry class to develop as a instructor. Three. schemes have besides be put in topographic point to heighten teacher keeping. In Kenya for case the Teachers Service Commission has introduced allowances for instructors posted in hardship countries. province sponsorship to farther one’s instruction through survey leave with wage among others.
Understanding of teacher professionalism provides professional infinite and conditions for the instructors to take duty in their patterns. Sachs ( 2003 ) considers the instructor professionalism issue as a societal and political scheme to advance the position of learning profession. In visible radiation of the issues discussed and as the argument on the position of instructor profession moves on. it is likely best to see the different places about instructor professionalism in the 21st century and see working towards ideals to which all members in the instruction fraternity can subscribe to. the fulfilment of which will supply the state a better quality of instruction and revamped image of the instructor in the society.
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