After studying the literature on the different perspectives defining it, I have come to understand that what shapes teaching professionalism has been clouded by paradoxes on what between a strict and quite literal perspective, and a more accommodating, free ranging set of parameters.
Assuming we accept the arguments of Etzioni (1969), David (2000), Leiter (1978) and Samuels (1970) and put teachers under de-organization in order to attain autonomy in their decision making (which is a major criterion, and is a huge critique from the traditional list) is inherently flawed. It is but natural for teachers to be organized under a governing body, be it the school, PTAs and or teachers’ collectives themselves to maintain standards.
Without this no school, no institution can market a specific brand of education, and this is important to be able to cater to particular learners’ needs. A multiple intelligence preschool needs to have teachers maintaining the same standard in order for them to market themselves as a legitimate MI facility. A university professor needs to set objectives for his or her class in order to achieve university standard targets .
The argument that de-professionalizes the teaching occupation because of the unmet autonomy criteria is far from enough to overlook the other, in my opinion, more important qualifications such as its nature as a public service, selfless intention, the strict ethical code it upholds, and having an element of recognition for its achievements; not to mention it is a far too traditional an approach to return to this sort of model.
I feel that the freedom the democratic professionalism approach offers is now much more timely in this post-professional age we are in now (Hargreaves, 2000). But would the profession elitists in contemporary society who are stuck in the ages even be a tad bit willing to consider this kind of “professional debauchery” of traditions?
Demirkasimoglu, N. (2010). Defining ‘Teacher Professionalism’ from Different Perspectives.
Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences Vol. 9 pp. 2047- 2051. doi: