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Professionalizing College Teaching 
ByJoseph   posted on10 Jan, 12 5869 Views 0 Comments Main Feature Add to favorite

The Academia
Turning towards the traditional professions, Wengers analysis of academia places emphasis upon professionalism as an ideology and a mythology, which has been subject to erosion in recent years. His account deals with both public education and colleges and universities. Professionalism as an ideology is shown to support an occupations control over client relations. Erosion has involved unionization on the one hand, and the revolt of the client on the other both in pressures toward community control and student participation in decision-making.
Another major consideration is the wasted talent: as professions grow in number and power, the gap between their potential and their performance becomes greater.
As the political scientist, Oliver Garceau has written: Professionalism is a concept freely used to seal off the group from critical inquiry. It spreads an order of sanctity. (Garceau, 1961).
Professionalism has served mythic functions for the occupation at issue, and more importantly, that academia is now undergoing a demystification of considerable dimensions, and perhaps most significantly that this developmental process can be seen to have profound impact on client relationships, as professionalism itself is seen here as a mode of client control. This then, is the direction being followed.

One stand in the discussion has been the argument for the proletarianisation of the academic profession. Halsey (1992) characterises a process which entails :
The great proletarianisation of the academic professions - an erosion of their relative class and status advantages as the system of higher education is propelled towards a wider admission of those who survive beyond compulsory schooling. Managerialism gradually comes to dominate collegiate co-operation in the organisation of both teaching and research. Explicit vocationalism displaces implicit vocational preparation, as degree courses are adapted to the changing division of labour in the graduate market. Research endeavours are increasingly applied to the requirements of government or even a piece-work labourer in the service of an expanding middle class of administrators and technologists.

  • There is a belief that the social origins of teachers are often humbler than those of the members of most other professions, as in the amount of professional training and level of intelligence.
  • The occupational structure of teaching also has a mainly negative value upon status, especially in contrast with that of other professions. The financial rewards of teaching are low, and its autonomy is limited. Not only is the teacher an employee subject to the authority of direct supervisors and school boards, but those whose behaviour she controls are not mature adults.
  • Teachers have virtually no control over their standards of work. They have little control over the subjects to be taught, the materials to be used; the criterion for deciding who should be admitted, retained, and graduated from training school; the qualification for teacher training; the forms to be used
  • Non-professionals control the state boards educational institutions .

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