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Professionalism, professionality and the status of the teaching profession

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Title: Professionalism, professionality and the status of the teaching profession


1
Professionalism, professionality and the status
of the teaching profession
  • invited seminar paper presented at the University
    of Ballarat School of Education
  • 7th July 2008
  • Dr Linda Evans
  • School of Education, University of Leeds, UK

2
The changing face of teacher professionalism in
England
  • 1970s
  • practically no centrally imposed curricular
    regulations
  • religious education
  • daily assembly broadly Christian
  • anything goes
  • autonomous professionalism
  • late 1980s mid 1990s (the market phase)
  • Educational Reform Act (ERA)
  • national curriculum
  • local management of schools (LMS)
  • a new professionalism/re-professionalism?
  • professionalism determined by market forces
  • client-led focus
  • 1997 present (the targets phase standards
    modernisation agenda)
  • pursuit of excellence
  • literacy and numeracy targets
  • managerialism

3
Context and objectives
  • new or modified professionalisms arising from
    the standards and modernisation agenda
  • how successfully have professionalisms been
    renovated?
  • what have been the effects on teachers and the
    status of the teaching profession?

4
Key foci
  • new professionalism as an instrument of change
  • the concept of professionalism
  • the substance of professionalism
  • (re)defining professionalism
  • the capacity of reform for achieving professional
    development
  • the concept of professional development
  • the substance of professional development

5
The concept of professionalism
  • Literature review
  • socially constructed
  • contextually variable
  • service level agreement
  • defined externally
  • defined by the professionals themselves
  • constantly being redefined
  • status
  • homogeneity

6
New professionalisms
  • prescriptive
  • descriptive
  • analytical commentaries
  • research reports and analyses
  • key feature reduced autonomy and control
  • re-professionalisation
  • proletarianisation

7
Professionality
  • Eric Hoyle
  • professionalism - status-related
  • the institutional component of professionalisation
  • professionality - knowledge, skills procedures
  • the service component of professionalisation
  • extended-restricted professionality continuum

8
Professionality orientation teachers
Eric Hoyle, 1975
  • Restricted professionality
  • Skills derived from experience
  • Perspective limited to the immediate in time and
    place
  • Introspective with regard to methods
  • Value placed on autonomy
  • Infrequent reading of professional literature
  • Teaching seen as an intuitive activity
  • Extended professionality
  • Skills derived from a mediation between
    experience theory
  • Perspective embracing the broader social context
    of education
  • Methods compared with those of colleagues and
    reports of practice
  • Value placed on professional collaboration
  • Regular reading of professional literature
  • Teaching seen as a rational activity

9
The restricted-extended teacher
professionality continuum
10
Professionality and professionalism
  • Professionality is an ideologically-,
    attitudinally-, intellectually-, and
    epistemologically-based stance on the part of an
    individual, in relation to the practice of the
    profession to which s/he belongs, and which
    influences her/his professional practice.
  • Evans, L. (2002) Reflective Practice in
    Educational Research (London, Continuum)
  • Hoyle (2008) the service component of
    professionalism

11
Professionality and professionalism
  • Professionalism is
  • the plural of professionality
  • professionality writ large
  • the amalgamation of individuals
    professionalities.
  • Professionalism is professionality-influenced
    practice that is consistent with commonly-held
    consensual delineations of a specific profession
    and that both contributes to and reflects
    perceptions of the professions purpose and
    status and the specific nature, range and levels
    of service provided by, and expertise prevalent
    within, the profession, as well as the general
    ethical code underpinning this practice.
  • (Evans, L. (2008) Professionalism,
    professionality and the development of education
    professionals, British Journal of Educational
    Studies, 56 (1), 20-38)

12
Professionalism and professionality
  • Professionality is an ideologically-,
    attitudinally-, intellectually-, and
    epistemologically-based stance on the part of an
    individual, in relation to the practice of the
    profession to which s/he belongs, and which
    influences her/his professional practice.
  • Professionalism is the perceived enactment of
    professionality-influenced practice that is
    consistent with commonly-held consensual
    delineations of a specific profession and that
    both contributes to and reflects perceptions of
    the professions purpose and status and the
    specific nature, range and levels of service
    provided by and expertise prevalent within the
    profession.

13
The impact of government policy on teacher
professionalism
  • A closer look at professionalism
  • 2 main perspectives
  • subjective professionalism
  • objective professionalism
  • 3 reified states of professionalism
  • Professionalism that is demanded or requested
  • specific service level demands or requests
  • Professionalism that is prescribed
  • envisaged or recommended service levels
  • Professionalism that is enacted
  • as observed
  • Only the 3rd of these is real

14
From demanded to enacted professionalism
  • The capacity of reform for achieving
    professional development
  • A new professionalism isnt a new
    professionalism unless it is enacted.
  • Reform or policy change is a professional
    development initiative
  • How may reformers or change agents achieve
    professional development within a
    professionality-influenced professionalism?

15
Key components of professionalism
Subjective professionalism
Functional component
Intellectual component
Attitudinal component
16
intellectual component
What do practitioners know and understand?
What does the professional knowledge base
comprise? Are there specialist areas? Are there
minimum (general) practitioner knowledge
requirements?
comprehensive dimension
What is the basis of practitioners knowledge?
  • Common sense and experience?
  • Research and/or scholarship?
  • In which disciplines/subjects?
  • What depth?
  • What width?
  • Contextual differences?

epistemological dimension
To what extent do practitioners apply reason to
decision making?
Is practice underpinned by rationality,
intuition, or a mediation of the two?
rationalistic dimension
17
attitudinal component
How do practitioners perceive things (issues,
situations, people, activity, etc.)? How do they
perceive their profession and its purpose?
What perceptions do practitioners hold? What
perceptions do they not hold? How
widespread/consensual are specific perceptions? Ar
e there any key/core perceptions?
perceptual dimension
How do practitioners evaluate things (issues,
situations, people, activity, etc.)? How do they
evaluate their profession and its purpose?
What values do practitioners hold? How
widespread/consensual are these values? Are there
any key/core values?
evaluative dimension
How motivated are practitioners? What motivates
them?
How motivated are practitioners? What motivates
them?
motivational dimension
18
functional component
What processes do practitioners apply to their
practice?
Advising? Educating? Regulating? Policy
analysis? Knowledge generation? Learning? Inter-in
stitutional collegiality?
processual dimension
What procedures do practitioners apply to their
practice? What hierarchical procedures operate
within the workforce? What stratification exists
within the workforce?
Mode(s) of communication? Mode(s) of implementing
policy? Mode(s) of regulating? Mode(s) of
innovating? How is responsibility distributed
- for knowledge/role coverage? What layers of
practice exist?
procedural dimension
What is the nature of practitioners output? How
much do practitioners produce? What (if any)
productive yardsticks guide them?
What do practitioners do their remit and
responsibilities? Is their workload determined by
the clock set hours? Is workload determined by
the task in response to need?
productive dimension
19
The capacity of reform for achieving professional
development
  • The problems
  • Reform or policy change initiators
  • focus predominantly on achieving functional
    development
  • ignore, or neglect, the importance of attitudinal
    and, in some cases, intellectual development
  • are unaware of, minimize, or ignore the
    professionality-influenced heterogeneity of
    professionalism
  • manifest simplistic, naïve inadequate
    understanding of human nature.

20
The professional development process
  • The process involves enhancing individuals
    professionality.
  • progression along the professionality continuum
  • What does the professional development process in
    individuals involve?

21
The professional development process in
individuals
  • Components
  • recognition that theres an alternative
  • a better way
  • encountering a specific alternative
  • evaluating the specific alternative
  • recognising the specific alternative as a better
    way
  • implies recognition of the perceived relative
    inadequacies of previous practice/views/knowledge
    etc.
  • adoption of the perceived better way
  • evaluation of the newly adopted
    practice/views/attitudes etc. as better than what
    it/they replaced
  • Evans (2008) work-in-progress

22
Professional development through reform or policy
change
  • Dependent upon
  • attitudinal development on the part of the
    developed or developee that is congruent with
    the reform/change agenda
  • shared perceptions of deficiencies and
    imperfections
  • shared perceptions of what constitutes a better
    way
  • change initiators willingness to accommodate
    this heterogeneity.

23
The effect of imposed policy reform on teacher
professionalism
  • Has teacher professionalism been redesigned?
  • on one level, undoubtedly
  • compare 1970s with present day
  • on another level …
  • the professionality range remains wide
  • lack of uniformity/homogeneity
  • much irony of presentation
  • manifests itself in the manner in which members
    of an organization present an image of the
    organization to the outside world that is not
    wholly congruent with the reality of its daily
    practices.
  • (Hoyle, E. and Wallace, M. (2007) Educational
    reform an ironic perspective, Educational
    Management, Administration Leadership, 35(1)
    925 )
  • the paying lip service approach
  • pernicious differences between the paper and
    the real
  • (Stronach, I. et al (2002) Towards an
    uncertain politics of professionalism teacher
    and nurse identities in flux, Journal of
    Education Policy, 17 (1), 109-138)

24
Professional status
  • Have teachers lost any of their status as
    professionals?
  • Is teaching any less of a profession than it
    previously was?
  • How do we define a profession?
  • How important is it to be a profession?
  • Developmentalism is professionalism re-invented
    and re-named, for greater applicability to 21st
    century working life.

25
Developmentalism …
  • means a commitment to (self-)develop(ment).
  • is an antidote to complacency.
  • is the mindset that engages practitioners in the
    business of striving to improve their practice.
  • manifests itself as relatively frequent and
    regular engagement in ostensible CPD.
  • is a component of the individuals stance in
    relation to the practice of the profession to
    which s/he belongs, and which influences her/his
    professional practice
  • professionality

26
Practitioners with a strong developmentalist
attitude will typically
  • be analytical and self-critical in evaluating
    their own practice
  • manifest single-minded concern for the quality of
    their work
  • continually strive for excellence, according to
    her/his own definition and measurement of it
  • perceive each new task as a challenge an
    opportunity to perform better, and achieve more,
    than ever before
  • be extended professionals.

27
From professionalism to developmentalism
  • The calibrations on the profession -
    semi-profession non-profession yardstick are
    being increasingly blurred.
  • How may we make qualitatively-based distinctions
    between occupational groups?
  • Developmentalism
  • autonomous developmentalism
  • compliant developmentalism
  • How developmentalist are teachers, in comparison
    with other occupational groups?
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