Comparative Perspectives On Teachers, Teaching And Professionalism

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In this chapter we organize our discussion of teachers and professionalism around the following questions:

  • How, if at all, has the occupation of teaching in various historical and societal contexts been considered to be a profession?

  • How, if at all, have teachers in various historical and societal contexts experienced professionalization and/or deprofessionalization or proletarianization?

  • How have teachers in various historical societal contexts conceived of professionalism in relation to teaching and how do these commonsense conceptions relate to broader ideological and structural dimensions of society?

While the first question is mainly addressed by scholars and practitioners subscribing to a functionalist perspective, the second and third questions, respectively, draw more on the writings of those adopting conflict and interpretivist perspectives.