Status of teaching as a profession

Thus, it maintains an active interest and a position of leadership in all areas of public education. Through its committees dealing with these topics, as well as through representation on many departmental committees and boards, the Association stays at the forefront of the most recent developments and represents the interests of its members.

David Belfall, in his article, Creating Value for Members, published inidentifies key characteristics that define an occupation as a profession. Unless exempted by legislation, any member of the Association who is alleged to have violated the standards of the profession, including the provisions of the code, may be subject to a charge of unprofessional conduct under the Discipline Bylaws of the Association.

It is a unilateral organization that includes as active members certificated individuals employed in public education as classroom teachers, as well as school- and district-based administrators. Through a rigid and self-imposed adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct, which sets out their duties and responsibilities, teachers pass on their accumulated culture and assist each student under their care in achieving self-realization.

Cooperation plays an important role in the development of the teaching profession because it represents a banding together to achieve commonly desired purposes.

The profession believes that all professional educators should be members of the Association and strives to accomplish this through an amendment to the Teaching Profession Act that would include superintendents and deputy superintendents appointed by school boards. Dedication to purpose, knowledge expertise and advocacy are core strengths of those in the teaching profession.

In the United States, we have work to do to elevate teaching as a profession. The legal framework through which the Association functions is the Teaching Profession Act. Although the work of teachers typically takes place in a classroom setting, the direct interaction between teacher and student is the single most important element in teaching.

This includes systematic long-range planning in such matters as the processes of teaching, working conditions for professional service, organization and administration of schools, teacher education and certification, curriculum, educational research and development, early childhood education, and education finance.

The profession has control or influence over education standards, admissions, licensing, professional development, ethical and performance standards, and professional discipline. The expectations for the professional practice of teachers related to interim and permanent certification are found in the Teaching Quality Standard Applicable to the Provision of Basic Education in Alberta.

Teachers are required to complete a defined teacher preparation program followed by a period of induction or internship prior to being granted permanent certification. The Teaching Quality Standard defines the knowledge, skills and attributes all teachers are expected to demonstrate as they complete their professional preparation, enter the profession and progress through their careers.

Six generally accepted criteria are used to define a profession. Raising the stature of the teaching profession in the United States is an imperative and increasing teacher pay is a major step in that direction.

Teachers have control or influence over their own governance, socialization into teaching and research connected with their profession.

These processes must be free of discriminatory practices and should contribute to the holistic development of students who are actively engaged, responsible and contributing members of a democratic society. There is a formal period of preparation and a requirement for continuous growth and development.

The Association, through the democratic interaction of its members, is the collective voice of Alberta teachers. Professionalism is a complex and elusive concept; it is dynamic and fluid.

Eric Hoyle and Peter John in their article, Professional Knowledge and Professional Practice, published in list as general characteristics of a profession the possession and use of expert or specialist knowledge, the exercise of autonomous thought and judgment, and responsibility to clients e.

A teacher has professional knowledge and skills gained through formal preparation and experience. While, unfortunately, it is not perceived in this great country to be on an equal footing as those professions named above teachers are instrumental in preparing others for those professions.

These characteristics are an assessment process for entry into the profession, a common body of knowledge, a code of ethics and a professional association. Teachers are devoted to continuous development of their ability to deliver their service. The choice of learning activities whereby the goals of education are realized in the school is the responsibility of the teaching profession.

There is a degree of autonomy accorded the professional. Teaching is as critical, many might suggest even more so, as any profession including medical, law or accountancy to list a few. The Association furthers the professional status of teaching by policing the conduct and competence of its members through its Discipline Bylaws and Practice Review Bylaws, ensuring high levels of practice for students and public assurance in the teaching profession.

Through serious and honest introspection, the teaching profession needs to adopt reforms necessary to catapult our measures of success to levels of excellence on a sustained basis. The teaching profession in Alberta fulfills those criteria in the following ways: Furthermore, the authors link characteristics of a profession i.

Teachers are equipped with such a body of knowledge, having an extensive background in the world and its culture and a set of teaching methods experientially derived through continuous research in all parts of the world.Ingersoll, R.M.

and Merrill, E. (). The Status of Teaching as a Profession. In J. Ballantine and J. Spade (Eds.), Schools and Society: A Sociological Approach to Education.

(p. ) 4th Ed. CA: Pine Forge Press/Sage Publications. 5. The status of teachers should be commensurate with the needs of education as assessed in the light of educational aims and objectives; it should be recognized that the proper status of teachers and due public regard for the profession of teaching are of major importance for the full realization of these aims and objectives.

6. Using ten universally accepted criteria for a profession and following the Structural-Functional Model of professionalism, this study evaluates the status of teaching as a profession in South Africa.

The study found that policies and structures have been put in place since the beginning of the new millennium to enhance the professional status.

Teaching did not feature as a high status profession or occupation in any of the focus groups. The most high status professions (identified from a given list of 36 different occupations) were Politicians, lawyers and professional sportspeople – identified in the top 5 by all segments.

Teaching as a Profession

Let’s examine in more detail teaching as a profession as defined by the characteristics identified above. To begin, the chart lists the key characteristics of a professional as noted in this article and the authors’ assessment on how teaching stacks up.

The Status of Teaching as a Profession Disciplines Education Comments Suggested Citation: Ingersoll, R.M. and Merrill, E. (). The Status of Teaching as a Profession. In J. Ballantine and J.

Spade (Eds.), Schools and Society: A Sociological Approach to Education. (p.

Education Counts

) 4th Ed. CA: Pine Forge Press/Sage Publications.

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Status of teaching as a profession
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