ERIC Number: ED298648
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Professionalizing the Profession. Notes on the Future of Teaching. Occasional Paper No. 4.
This paper discusses the efforts to professionalize teaching in light of four questions: (1) Can an occupational group, through its own efforts, obtain increased professional status? (2) What might those efforts look like? (3) What conditions must be obtained in order that those efforts might best succeed? and (4) Do such strategies serve good purposes, or might they? The secondary purpose is to develop a framework to guide needed research designed to support or reject the assumptions and hypotheses set forth in this paper. Accordingly, after brief introductory notes on the future of teaching, the first section identifies three distinct approaches in the literature on teacher status and professionalization: the "attributes" or "traits" approach, the "functionalist" approach, and the "process" approach. The main body of the paper elaborates an extended comparison with the changing status of medicine during the last two centuries, identifying several factors leading to the transformation of the medical profession and mapping these onto the teaching profession: new technology, training linked with the new technology, public support for restricted practice, public valuing of schooling, fragmented demand for services, and bifurcation of authority. The ensuing discussion concludes that teaching cannot achieve the prestige of medicine, since it fails to meet any of these six criteria. Therefore, instead of using the medical analogy, it is argued that teachers should base their claim to professionalism on the moral obligations of compulsory schooling. A 102-item bibliography is included. (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., Seattle. Center for Educational Renewal.