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ERIC Number: EJ1046720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2327-3607
An Occupation's Responsibility: The Role of Social Foundations in the Cultivation of Professionalism
Gunzenhauser, Michael G.
Critical Questions in Education, v4 n2 p192-204 Spr 2013
In this essay, the author argues that inquiry and engagement in the social foundations of education is fundamental to cultivating professionalism in education. As many commentators on the subject have noted, teaching does not meet many of the criteria of a profession derived from the sociological study of fields of work. As Joseph Newman observes, typically, teaching is offered the category of "occupation," or it can be considered to be a semi-profession or an emerging profession. William Segall and Anna Wilson point to the activities of professional associations, the work of education scholars, and rising standards for teacher preparation as evidence of promise for the future professionalization of teaching. In contrast, Kenneth Strike argues that the drive for professionalism is counter-productive to the democratic aims of education, and others argue for recasting the debate about professionalism in terms more consistent with the moral aims of education. Gunzenhauser's approach in this essay is to make the aims and characteristics of professionalism an object of inquiry in educational practice. He writes here that engaging in the social foundations leads to an understanding that the very idea of professionalism in education is constituted by ethical practices of teaching. Guzenhauser wishes to argue that the social foundations are crucial to help define and defend what professionalism may look like in education, making use of the uniqueness of education as an institution and the unique qualities of teaching as a profession. A bibliography is included.
Academy for Educational Studies. 2419 Berkeley Street, Springfield, MO 65804. Tel: 417-299-1560; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A