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Professionalizing College Teaching 
ByJoseph   posted on10 Jan, 12 4580 Views 0 Comments Main Feature Add to favorite

Somebody told you and you hold it as an article of faith,that higher education is an unassailable good.This notion is so dear to you that when i questioned it you become angry .Good.Good,I say.Are not those the very things which we should question? Isay colege education,since the war,has become so a matter of course,and such a fashionable necessity,for those either of or aspring to the new vast middle class,that we espouse it,as a matter of right,and ceased to ask,what is it good for?

College teachers are a neglected lot as far as their professional development is concerned. Their existence attracts attention only when they fight for their pay hikes, which normally courts negative comments from allaround, and once enough attention is garnered they silently disappear into oblivion.

The college teacher is supposed to be a professional without proper professional training. While debates areraging as to whether teaching in a college can be treated as a profession in the real sense of the word, we shalllook into the necessity for re-professionalizing college teaching.

The Professions

Many have attempted to specify the formal criteria unique to professions though none have entirely succeeded in separating the necessary from the sufficient conditions. The knowledge base of the established professions derives primarily from the realm of the sacred, most obviously in the case of the clergy, but also in the moral concerns of law, medicine and the academia. Increasingly, as secular and rational values have become more and more technologically and commercially entrenched in our society, the legitimation of professional work has come to rely upon scientific foundations even theology uses empirical archaeological evidence. The third area that underlines professional work is that of aesthetics skill at its best is built upon a foundation of talent or flair (Gerstl 1976).

Though medicine is strongly based on science it has a major aura of mystery as the art of healing. All the occupations have central skills, an occupational code of ethics, a group culture,some occupational authority and some permission to practiseon the part of the community, says Krause (1971).
Above all, the professions enjoy power and prestige. Somewriters add altruism as the necessary ingredient.

Power could be divided into remunerative power and normative power. Remunerative power is based on control over material resources and rewards through allocation of salaries and wages, commissions and contributions, forcing benefits, services and commodities. Normative power rests on the allocation and manipulation of symbolic rewards and deprivation through employment of leaders, manipulating mass media, allocation of esteem and prestige symbols, administration of ritual, and influence over the distribution of acceptance and positive response.

A more eloquent name for this power would be persuasive, or manipulative, or suggestive power. But all these terms have negative value connotations which we wish to avoid.

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