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Professionalizing College Teaching 
ByJoseph   posted on10 Jan, 12 6879 Views 0 Comments Main Feature Add to favorite

Professionalism involves the creation and maintenance of an exclusionary mystique. Protected by definitional and rganizational boundaries, the professional enjoys the security afforded by the possession of knowledge or skills which are perceived by the client public as necessary and valuable. The lay public accepts the mystique promulgated by the professional group, thereby participating in the maintenance of professional power. All nstitutions, organizations, and occupational groups develop stories which are designed to present themselves and their activities in the best possible light (Becker, 1974).

In order to maintain this often tenuous faade, the members interact to develop perspectives and ideologies whichjustify their status and exclusionary positions. This organizational boundary-setting is most apparent in those highly educated occupational groups lawyers, physicians, clergy, and university professors which have traditionally been labelled professions.
At base, professionalization is a process of self-labelling. Professionals successfully convince the public of the societal necessity of their skills and the rightness of their authority. The maintenance of this authority rests upon control of access to and utilization of the essential skills and upon codes of conduct which emphasize public service and controls its standards of performance.
Professionalism can also be looked at as a potentially successful ploy utilized by occupational groups to maximizerewards, and the autonomy, i.e., peer-control of occupational practice is the basic technique by which this reward maximization operates. One of the ways in which professional autonomy is operationalized is through control of occupational entry.

The extent to which present professional structure provides efficient and humane solutions to basic social needs should be the most important consideration.

To sum up

  • A profession is conventionally defined as an occupation whose members are reputed to perform a unique,definite, and important social service, one those outside the profession are unable to supply or generate ontheir own.
  • Practitioners supplying the service are thought to possess arcane knowledge inaccessible to the untrained.
  • A protracted period of training is deemed indispensable for successful performance.
  • Professionals enjoy broad autonomy, discretion, and independence of action in determining the substance of their duties.
  • The emphasis is on service rendered rather than on whatever economic gain may be realised.
  • There exists a comprehensive and authoritarian self-governing organisation to which practitioners give their allegiance and support, some agency empowered to define and pass judgements on what constitutes acceptable or best practice.
  • A hallmark of profession is that it has a regulative code of ethics governing entry into the occupation, together with standards and procedures for penalising those found in violation of its tenets and precepts. Professionals police their own.

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