Within the broad scope of school reform lies the issue of teacher professionalism and teacher professionalization. The professionalism of teachers and the desire to either increase or decrease the professionalization of the vocation is implicated in essentially all of the reform literature. Since there is a significant split within the literature and the debate at large between those advocating greater professionalization and increased teacher autonomy and status, and those advocating more control through increased standardization and greater accountability, this study attempts to properly frame that debate to illustrate the variances in treatment and power that teachers individually and through their organizations are afforded. Ultimately then, conclusions can be reached based on the rhetoric of the reform debate and the reality of the working conditions of teachers. This book allows the reader to better understand the professionalism debate within the reform literature and thereby to better assess professionalism.
Given the historical, legal, social, and political impediments to greater teacher professionalization, school reform measures that focus generally upon increasing the status and power of teachers or decreasing the status and power of teachers largely misses the point. The author argues that the present school reform debate is largely a debate over words, more than a practical plan for school improvement. The debate will be greatly advanced by widespread realization and acceptance of what we already know to be true: that different persons, places, and situations require different responses in order to maximize their potential.
Publisher: University Press of America