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Concepts of Professionalism Essay


Introduction

For any field of knowledge to be functional and meaningful it has to have practitioners in that area that must follow specific ethics and values specific to their areas of specializations. It is important to note that, although different professions have commonalities among their ethics, each of the professions has a class of unique ethics and values that identifies practitioners in that specific field.

In addition, it is good to note that, practitioners in these fields not only work to gain good remuneration packages, but also they are involved in extensive researches; a practice aimed at improving and enhancing knowledge in their fields.

Generally, professionals regardless of their areas of specialization must have cognitive and academic competence and a set of principles not only defined by their areas of specialization, but also intrinsically driven (Clark and Kasar pp.5-7).

When individuals decide to be professionals in a specific field, then it means they are ready to sacrifice all that is at their disposal to make sure their professions shine, hence a factor necessitating one at all times to perform work with integrity and dedication.

In addition, to self-interest and personal achievement, professionally individuals should create lasting relationships with not only those they work with, but also those they are serving. This is because, in case conflicting issues exists among a cohort of workers, then resulting conflicts can impair the quality and quantity of work output.

Hence, if professional cannot fight to ensure they maximise their work output and competencies, then what is the essence of individuals calling themselves professionals? On the other hand, it is necessary to note that, all professional services’ main aim is to aid community development and peaceful coexistence, a factor that will improve the nature of relationships that will exist among community members.

Hence, in trying to maintain this “contract” with the community, it is important for all professionals to ensure whatever principles, moral ethics, or values they embrace fit societal wants and needs (Cunningham pp.6-9).

Professionalism in Education

Educators play several roles dictated either by professional ethics or by societal needs. For example in an elementary school, although teachers’ main role is to deliver knowledge, they also have other duties that include acting as a surrogate parents, disciplinarians, motivators, and many other roles that depend on specific societies. This is because, students take more time with teachers than they do with their parents.

Therefore, this makes it important for teachers to try and formulate mechanisms of balancing students’ needs and their professionalism. It is important to note here that, as compared to other professions, this profession entails many ethical concerns because to students teachers are a representation of the society; hence, students will always follow what teachers do.

Essentials of Professionalism in Education

As professionalism dictates all practitioners in any fields must have the competence required for effective work performance, a factor that education embraces. Depending on one’s area of jurisdiction, requirements for one to function effectively as a teacher vary.

These requirements include postgraduate diplomas, degrees (masters or PhDs’), diplomas, certificate and other qualifications in education. Although this is the case, teaching ethics of different areas or countries do not vary very much primarily because, the profession aims to mould learners who can work in any social-economic conditions.

In addition to these varying qualifications, because of the changing nature of lifestyles and technology, it is important for teachers to have additional trainings in other fields for example, information technology. The trainings not only are they of purpose to teachers in terms of knowledge development or improvement, but also are important aids of enhancing quality content and value delivery.

On the other hand, because learning has no end, this profession involves the attending of other training sessions that ensure teachers stay up to date with current information, an important prerequisite for dealing with learners’ problems.

For example, in the field of medicine presently, due to emerging complex health complications globally, it is important for teachers in this field to update themselves with new knowledge, for them to be able to mould students who meet current health needs (Robson pp. 7-14).

In addition, it is important to note that, competency is not all being well educated and having professional certificates, but rather the whole process involves the ability to deliver whatever content the core curriculum specifies. Different professionals have the power to deliver their services according to their best means, where education is not an exception.

However, although this is the case, educators must bear in mind that, whatever they do learners will copy direct and include the same in their real professional jobs, hence the need to use their best means. This adopted strategy should ensure content delivery occurs within preferred and standard conditions, which can help learners of different capabilities to cope up; hence effective and meaningful learning experiences (Whitty p.1).

Professional behaviour is another important aspect of this field. Practically, it is a little bit hard to clearly define a set of conduct that educators must follow. In addition, before defining this set of conduct, it is important for all educators to note that, learners always copy whatever they do in any scenario.

This ranges from the mode of one’s conduct either in class or out of class, language characteristics, and general behaviour in terms of temperament, attitude, morals, and principles. Honestly speaking, following professional conduct is one of the most difficult tasks because of the differences in learners’ backgrounds; where learners have different ways of interpreting occurrences in their immediate environments.

Although this is the case, it is important for practitioners in this field to correctly depict and predict learners’ demographics; hence, formulate mechanisms of dealing with these differences among different learners.

In addition to ensuring, they maintain professional behaviours in presence of learners; educators must always ensure that whatever aspect of behaviour they adopt should fit the values of the society to which they are offering their services.

This is because, considering most societal settings, educators are always on the sport light, owing to the fact that, the society treats them as role models.

Due to multiple roles that educators must perform, there is need for them to be dedicated and responsible in their duties.

Responsibility not only entails following or performing as per set goals and standards, but rather it means that, educators must be ready to deliver or perform beyond set goals. This is only achievable if individuals handle duties managements have assigned them obeying their intrinsic motivators rather than extrinsic motivators.

In addition, dedication entails the performing of duties in a way individuals could attend to their personal issues. The greatest motivator of this profession is that, whatever the competence an educator imparts in learners not only benefits them solely, but also it contributes to the overall development of the society.

On the other hand, it is essential for practitioners in this field to note that, responsibility does not only guarantee achievement of educational goals, but also it contributes to individuals self growth and image enhancement, which translates to a good professional image.

In addition to competence, behavioural orientation, responsibility and dedication professionally, all educators must ensure their life both inside and outside the class is organized. For example, in qualifying graduates in all institutions, administrations must use all performance records.

However, in case of carelessness by some tutor and these records are not present then the teaching profession is at stake. This is because whatever happens after this like a scenario will not only taint the name of the teacher and the learning institution, but also will taint the name of the teaching profession; something that all individuals should aim to eliminate in their daily undertakings.

Although a challenging task to meet many qualities associated with the teaching profession, it is important for all individuals in this profession to delicate their efforts to the profession; hence formulate mechanisms of meeting societal needs through imparting correct skills in learners. This is because; education is the fundamental prerequisite for any societal development and success achievement.

Professionalisation of Education

Considering the nature of changes that have occurred in present education systems, it is important for governments to professionalize education, in the sense that, it is the primary determinant of a societies well being. In addition, considering the roles education plays in our contemporary society, it is important for it to have bodies that should manage its affairs and ensure all practitioners in the field meet specific standards.

This is important in that, not only does it ensure the law protects practitioners in this field, but also it will act as a motivator towards goal achievement; hence, the bettering of educational experiences and knowledge.

For education to be practical and utilitarian there is need to include meaningful learning experiences, a factor that will make the profession to be of good integrity and competence.

The professionalisation process primarily encompasses the setting and implementation of good standards, principles and qualifications that all teachers must meet, for them to maintain the competence that the profession dictates. In addition, the process involves the formation of both internal and external working bodies that will manage all activities of the profession.

These activities include setting of working standards and ethics, rules and procedures that practitioners in this field must follow. The professionalisation process is very crucial in that, it helps to differentiate between amateurs in the education profession and qualified individuals who are ready to work using all that is at their disposal to achieve academic competence (Siriwardena pp.235-245).

On the other hand, the professionalisation process has many associated advantages namely: increased benefits, proper management of conflicting issues, education quality improvement, and improved self-esteem of members of the professional class. This is because these bodies will protect their autonomy and protect their well-being.

One main factor that makes professionalisation a necessity is the changing trends in forms of educational orientation. In the past, the overall role of education delivery rested solely on parents and elders, a factor that has undergone transformation with globalisation.

Currently, many education developments have introduced new concepts in education; hence, making it necessary for establishment of concrete standards and bodies that take the overall responsibility of ensuring educational experiences remains meaningful.

In addition, centralisation of education management in many governments has made the process of professionalizing education a hard task because governments solely formulate policies without consulting educators.

In addition, due to the enormous contribution made by educators to the social, economic, and political conditions of societies, there is need for increased teacher preparation for them to work effectively and professionally in their distinct areas, something that is achievable via professionalizing education.

How to Professionalise Education

Educational professionalization should commence from the nature of trainings offered to teachers. In the present changing times, there exist great variations among different learner needs, considering that learners grow in different and unique environments.

Therefore, this makes it important for integration of professionalization in training centres, where trainers should emphasise the need of meeting all learners’ needs. This will make learning meaningful and of value not only to learners, but also the entire community. For governments to achieve this, then they must accord all scholars their rightful positions as concerns reforms.

It is important to note that, by giving educators the right to participate in reforms, likelihoods of success of formulated programs are high. This is because when educators themselves give decisions on radical changes that education policy makers must include in the curriculum, implementation such curriculum is easy.

To ensure that original skills learnt by teachers receive continuous upgrading to meet current global economic, social, and political standards, government should come up with correct strategies of formulating building capacities for example, the application of communication technologies.

This will aid the extension of teacher education, hence guaranteeing that all practitioners in the education field are qualified and meet specific standards, something that clearly defines professionalisation.

Trainings and continuous upgrading of skills cannot act on their own without extensive researches in this profession. This is because there is a clear shift from the tradition rote learning method to more advanced learning methods, which dictate constant and renewed skill development.

Therefore, this calls for need of extensive researches in this profession, something that will contribute to its upgrading and advancement; hence meet all learner needs and aspirations (Whitehead and Hartley pp. 147-157).

For example, the use of the Reggio Emilia technique of teaching is a practical example of a research got technique that not only ensures learning is meaningful, but also ensures there exist good connections between learning environments, classroom settings and surrounding communities.

To ensure that practitioners in education deliver the required standards, governments have to establish ways of creating teacher bodies and councils, which will undertake the overall role of ensuring educators perform to their uttermost potentials.

Depending on the level of learning, it is important for governments to include not only education stakeholders’ views, but also their membership in this overseeing leadership groups (Mawhinney pp. 36-47).

Factors Influencing Professionalisation

Although the concept of education professionalization sounds an easy task, in reality it has many associated concepts that make it a subject of debate among many scholars. For example, majority of educational concepts are theoretical, hence creating a broad difference between theory and real practise as concerns professional development.

From research findings, there exist dismal participation of professionals in this field a fact that majority of them attribute to the un-worthiness of such programmes. This makes it hard to professionalise education because for it to fit in the class of other professions, it must have certain qualities, where career development is a primary need.

Another major factor influencing teacher professionalism is the organisational cultures of majority of schools. Depending on an institutions’ culture and educational orientation, some schools may have enhancement opportunities where as some may lack completely.

This is many ways hinders the professional development of educators. For schools that offer advancements opportunities such as trainings, and career enhancement packages their performance is high in terms of educational delivery.

This is because majority of such educators acquire extensive and better competencies that are necessary for an ever-changing society. Majority of schools with such professional development opportunities have well defined leadership roles; hence, guaranteeing educators freedom to express their concerns and needs, a factor that encourages professional advancement.

Politics is another major influencing factor to professionalisation. This is because politics primarily determine the amount of resources that a country allocates educational development. In addition, politics many other influences on educational unions running, a factor that hinders teachers for expressing their ideas when it comes to policy development and implementation.

Another common factor affecting professionalisation of education is the imbalances that exist between the ratios of students to teachers. As Smith (pp.74-80) argues, in most current schools, teachers have to work extra hard to meet all learners’ needs, something that has burdened teachers.

This is because, currently there is an influx of students in many elementary and middle level schools; hence the small number of teachers cannot meet their demands effectively or as dictated by professional ethics.

In addition, the fact that majority of these classrooms have mixed learners in terms of capabilities and handicaps compounds the factor, hence making professional development a harder task for most educators. on the other hand, considering the fact that most elementary schools have many integrated subject hipped in one curriculum makes specialisation a harder task; hence, a great impediment to professionalisation.

Primarily, specialisation involves the division of work when it comes to teaching duties and attending to specific learner needs, which currently is hard to achieve in many school settings.

The problem of specialisation results due to poor administrative systems, a factor that denies educators freedoms of formulating workable plans that will suit learners’ needs as specific times and needs. This is a problem that governments can avoid by giving teachers their required autonomy and freedoms as pertains policy development and implementation.

In addition to the wide gap that exists between the number of students and teachers, the economic condition of a government or society also acts as another major influence on professionalisation of education.

Majority of nation states allocate very dismal funds to their educational programs, or in some cases, although the resource allocations are sufficient to meet educational needs, little goes to educational professional development.

Hence, because the professionalisation process requires sufficient funds; that are scarce, most of the initiatives to professionalise education fail; hence, the influence of economic viability and status of a country on professionalisation of education.

On the other hand, education is worthless if it cannot meet the society needs. Hence, due to varying societal needs (that are un-satiable), professinalising education has become a hard task due to influences societies have on the organisation of educational programmes, policy formulation and their implementation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, to ensure education continues meeting the ever changing societal needs, there is need to professionalise it. This is because it will give teachers the autonomy to decide on meaningful experiences that policy makers must include in the process of curriculum development and implementation.

In addition to giving teachers autonomy, it is necessary for governments to allow teachers to form independent bodies that will handle their discrepancies whenever they arise. For these bodies to function properly, they must be free from any governmental influences, something that has made education professionalisation a hard thing.

Works Cited

Clark, Nelson and Kasar, Jack. . New Jersey: Slack Incorporated, 2000. Web.

Cunningham, Brian. Exploring professionalism. London: Institute of education, 2008. Print.

Mawhinney, Hanne. . Peabody journal of education, 73(1) (1998). 34-55. Web.

Robson, Jocelyn. . Oxon: Routledge Taylor and Francis group, 2006. Web.

Siriwardena, Rashid. The professionalization of education and educators in Postgraduate Medicine. Education for Primary Care, 16(3) (2005): pp.235-245.

Print Smith, Selby. Some factors affecting the education of teachers in the state of Victoria, Australia. International Review of Education, 15 (1). (2005): 74-83. Print.

Whitehead, Maurice and Hartley, David. . New York: Routledge; Taylor and Francis group,2006, Web.

Whitty, Geoff. Teacher professionalism in a new era. 2006. Web.

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