Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Johnston, J.
Issues of professionalism and teachers: critical observations from research and the literature

(2015) Australian Educational Researcher, 42 (3), art. no. 159, pp. 299-317.

DOI: 10.1007/s13384-014-0159-7

The concept of ‘professionalism’ has become more evident in discourse about teacher quality in recent years. In fact, in some contexts ‘professionalism’ is used as a euphemism for quality and reform. This critical essay applies a critical theory perspective and discusses notions of educational professionalism from the academic literature. It draws on research findings about teachers’ understandings of the diverse ways the term ‘professionalism’ is used in discussions of teacher quality, and highlights three key assumptions that appear to underpin contemporary ‘professionalism’ discourses. It suggests that the reification of ‘professionalism’ may have had a number of regrettable consequences for teachers, and challenges the apparent lack of evidence that links ‘professionalism’, however it might be defined, with quality educational outcomes. The essay concludes by arguing that the emergence of ‘professionalism’ as a signifier of quality has served to obscure and confuse many other important issues concerning the quality of teaching. © 2014, The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc.

Author Keywords
Professional development; Professional learning; Professionalisation; Professionalism; Standards; Teachers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: