Skip to comments.Are the Right People Becoming Teachers? ( Teachers are NOT Professionals)
Posted on 01/30/2007 5:45:59 AM PST by wintertime
1. The practitioners know and can do things the public in general cannot do. They have a specialized body of knowledge.
2. The specialized body of knowledge practitioners have takes an extended period of time to learn.
3. The educators who prepare the practitioners are experts who agree upon the specialized body of knowledge practitioners must have.
4. Admission to a professional training program is highly selective.( snip).
6. Only members of the profession set the standards for licensure and certification.
7. The primary responsibility and loyalty of a professional is to serve the client and not simply the institution or governmental agency in which the practitioner may be employed.
8. Neither the public at large nor an employing institution may control the way in which professionals relate to their clients, or the treatments, methods or procedures they use.
9. Neither the public at large nor an employing institution may set the purpose, goals or objectives for the practitioners practice with clients.
10. The public at large does not decide how to evaluate professionals.
11. Only members of the profession can determine malpractice and dismiss or disbar practitioners.
12. Professionals determine the cost of their services.
19. Professionals are trained to serve clients with problems. By definition professionals do not seek to perform services to clients without problems.
21. Professionals share a code of ethics to which they commit and adhere. They cannot be directed to perform or not perform services for clients which conflict with their professional code.
The case that teaching does not meet any of these twenty one criteria can be readily made.
(Excerpt) Read more at ednews.org ...
Teachers are employees of school districts. Unless they function in compliance with the rules and regulations of their employing district they will not be hired or remain employed. Members of the public determine the content and nature of their services. As employees they have no legitimate control over their practices. It is only on an informal level, the fact that 3.1 million teachers cannot have their behaviors continually monitored and controlled, that they have any discretion at all. The advice to shut your door and do what you want does not make teaching a profession. Quite the reverse. It testifies to working conditions in which teachers must sneak activities which their employers might not sanction. If teachers can only demonstrate independent decision-making when they hide their behavior from superiors is that a hallmark of a profession? Legally, teachers have zero discretion over the nature of their training, certification, licensure, practice, or evaluation. Teachers are functionaries, frequently employed in dysfunctional bureaucracies. Teachers cannot decide best practice. Best practice is circumscribed and determined by what the public and the school boards and administrators who represent the public are willing to condone. If teachers dont like their employers rules and regulations their only choice is to transfer to another school or another district where they can live with the conditions under which they must work, or they can quit teaching altogether. This is precisely the choice offered jobholders who are office workers, or who work in retail, or in any other job performed in an organized bureaucracy. Any reasonable analysis of what constitutes a job in contrast to what constitutes a profession will lead to the conclusion that teachers are jobholders who function in publicly run school districts.
Re: Criteria #7,#8,#9
I have previously posted that, if teachers were truly professional, they would refuse to work in conditions that damage children educationally, emotionally, socially, or physically. Unfortunately,teachers open their doors to, and work in, schools that use ineffective and damaging educational programs, and where children are brutalized by other children and sometimes the staff and other teachers.
We often hear that "good" teachers are doing the best they can and shouldn't be blamed. I disagree.
A heart surgeon would refuse to work in an operating room with a heart lung machine that was known to be defective, but, so-called "good" teachers go to work every day in schools throughout this nation that are using defective educational methods and are physically unsafe for the children. Would a surgeon just wring his hands and complain that he was trying the best he could? Hardly! He would transfer his practice to a safe hospital and refuse to practice in the hospital with poor operating room practices. If teachers were true "professionals", and if teaching were a true profession, they would do what was right for the students regardless of the demands of whiny or demanding principals or parents, or the possible loss of their paycheck and benefits.
Teachers, who work in schools with ineffective and damaging educational and discipline practices, or that are emotionally and physically unsafe for children, are one or more of the following:
1) They are too stupid to know with what they are cooperating.
2) They are greedy for a paycheck and generous benefits.
3) They like working in a system that harms children, and this makes them evil.
I have cut some of Martin Haberman's criteria for professionals from the post so that the excerpt could be accepted as a post. I recommend the entire article. It is worth the time to read it.
"The specialized body of knowledge practitioners have takes an extended period of time to learn."
I'm not sure, but I think the only professions that would really meet this criterion would be doctors and lawyers (and vets). Seems a bogus criterion to me.
Innumerable tests over many decades have shown that the mental test scores of people who specialize in education are among the lowest of any college students. This is not an accident. Given the incredibly bad courses in education that abound, in even the top universities, intelligent people are repelled, while mediocrities and incompetents sail through.
A 50+ year old liberal relative of mine has been a teacher for over 20 years. She thought a "separation of church and state" was in the Constitution.
Gee, and we got in trouble if we chewed gum.
The rules are rules have to be followed and the teachers get to follow 'em.
Lawyers, actuaries, engineers, psychologists (of any licensable variety), or for that matter mathematicians (we sure as heck aren't amateurs, so we must be professionals) all fit the 'specialized body of knowledge' citerion.
Criterion 19 is the one that's a bit iffy as too medical.
The rules are rules have to be followed and the teachers get to follow 'em.
NO! They do NOT have to follow 'em!
Are police holding guns to the heads of these teachers as they open the doors to their classrooms each day? I don't think so. If they were true professionals they would refuse to cooperate, or they would quit!
Criterion 19 is the one that's a bit iffy as too medical.
The author claims that most, not all, of the criteria apply to true professionals. He states that teachers meet NONE of the criteria.
I'll tell you one thing: whoever wrote this rotten sentence, and the majority of this list, ain't no professional practitioner of writin' English.
Haberman-"He has developed more programs preparing more teachers than anyone in American education. His interview for selecting Urban Teachers is used in 200 cities."
It sounds like he is a major part of the problem in public education.
With the invention of the personal computer and the advent of the Internet, teachers became utterly obsolete. Society just hasn't fully realized it yet. In twenty more years, the idea of herding forty kids into a makeshift prison cell to be lectured to by a "C" student with a minimal command of the curriculum will seem as bizarre and backward as the medical practice of bloodletting to treat disease does today.
I've been a teacher for 16 years, but only the last 7 years in public schools. This article is filled with so much irony that it is difficult to read with a straight face. The only way the public education system in this country is going to change is if the business community pushes the change. We know that won't happen as long as they can bring in highly educated people from overseas who will do the jobs that Americans weren't educated to perform.
Yes, there are some teachers who deserve scorn. However, there is plenty of blame to share with parents and administrators as well. Until the system changes though, we're all just actors in it.
Like you, I don't understand the need to rip on teaching, as a profession, if you're unhappy with certain teachers out there.
In twenty more years, the idea of herding forty kids into a makeshift prison cell to be lectured to by a "C" student with a minimal command of the curriculum will seem as bizarre and backward as the medical practice of bloodletting to treat disease does today.
I surely hope so.
Teachers are stealth propagandists for the Left. Not all of course but the core definately is nothing but Draft Dodger hopefulls.
I would argue that the military would qualify as well....
Your sister deserves the utmost respect.
Yes, there are some teachers who deserve scorn.
I scorn enablers!
Any teacher who cooperates with at system that is chaotic, lacks discipline, is highly sexualized, uses ineffectual educational practices that leave children illiterate and innumerate is NOT a professional.
Please see : Criteria #7 #8 #9 #21
Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer the time-honored term, "useful idiots." (Not all, of course...just the overwhelming majority).
I have students who need hearings aids and glasses but refuse to wear them. I am encouraged to accommodate them. Teaching is very difficult and it does indeed take a few years to get the hang of classroom management and teaching focused on the ever-shifting requirements set down from on high here in California. I hope I don't have to do it for much longer.
Please see post #17.
"Like you, I don't understand the need to rip on teaching, as a profession, if you're unhappy with certain teachers out there."
You all haven't seen wintertimes other threads?
She won't be happy until all public schools are shut down because teachers and administrators refuse to report for work.
It seems that until they come up with the perfect curriculum, have the perfect teaching staffs, and have eliminated absolutely all safety risks - then no children or adults should be setting foot on public school property.
Imagine all the kids running around getting into trouble while their parent are forced to leave them home while they work to pay the bills.
And when these kids get into trouble and get hurt - who will be the first folks they blame? That's right - the teachers and administrators who go "on strike."
Wintertime doesn't seem to apply this same standard to her own industry - the medical field.
I think doctors and nurses should refuse to report to work until they eliminate the risk of infection to innocent patients.
Everday perfectly healthy people are catching diseases at medical facilities, and people with minor health problems leave the hospital in a hearse after contracting a staph infection from a "minor" surgery.
"I'm not sure, but I think the only professions that would really meet this criterion would be doctors and lawyers (and vets)."
The rule I use to differentiate between professions and trades is this:
If an enthusiastic amateur can outperform a disengaged professional 90% of the time it is a trade. If a disengaged professional can outperform an enthusiastic amateur 90% of the time it is a profession.
Homeschooling parents are the definition of an enthusiastic amateur. They regulalry outperform uncaring teachers -- teaching is a trade. (A skilled trade, but a trade. Yet the odds are no matter how enthusiastic you are a brain surgeon with a bad case of DGAS is going to do an operation better than you can. Medicine is a profession. So is the law. So is engineering.
Bravo!!!!! Well said.
Thanks, but I already read it, and determined you were (a) incontinent, (b) a crank, or (c) both.
I think the professions are law, medicine and engineering.
Yeah, but I gotta tell ya, I have a hard time choking back a comment when the trainer at my local fitness center refers to his "clients". Gimme a break, he's got a degree in exercise kinesiology (which used to be physical education)!
You left out "the oldest profession"? ;-)
Are you outnumbered in your school?
..she's tried suicide at least once....tried lesbianism...but now living with a guy....
..covered her huge tattoos for the school interview, plus her numerous piercings.
She's a liberal to the nth degree....
..and she's teaching highschool.
I had no idea of the history, but it makes perfect sense now. Thanks for the background.
"Why Education Experts Resist Effective Practices (And What It Would Take to Make Education More Like Medicine)"
I guess the world's oldest profession isn't a profession at all.
Your list is specious and faulty."12. Professionals determine the cost of their services." Within reason, within what the market will bear. But it would be futile to argue point by point, since you are simply trying to 'dump' on all teachers. Would these be elementary, middle, high school, college, or university? I teach at the university where the body of knowledge required depends upon the subject. I teach English, which boasts subjects which would curl the hair of the average right-winger (wing-nut as my husband calls you and me), and my latest challenge is to AVOID LEFT WING, PRO-PALESTINIAN, PRO-TERRORIST, PRO-OCCULT, ANTI-CHRISTIAN DRIVEL! and believe me, it's hard! But my challenge (and that of all teachers) is to make kids think... and having lots of different teachers doing lots of different things accomplishes this, even when more than half of them are established on the left, or wear blinkers for their own subject, or kowtow to the administration. The curriculum we work with, and the teaching methods, were established by the ancient romans. Oh, we've dropped the birch, for the most part, and the Latin, and dummied down the process, but not much else has changed. Personally, I'd like to see a revolution take place, but it won't happen in my time. In the meantime, remember that the smart person YOU are is the result of the 'indoctrination' by these so very 'unprofessional' teachers -- bless them!
I can tell you that the school board and the educational system places much more value on someone with an education degree over someone who is an expert in the field they teach. The "gift" of being an effective teacher doesn't really figure in to the equation either.
In other words, someone with an education degree and certified as an educator, with little or no knowledge of the subjects they teach, is valued much higher than someone with expert knowledge and real-world experience in the subjects they teach.
The prevailing "wisdom" is that unless you have an education degree, you do not know how to teach effectively. The fact that you know your subject is secondary. You will never be a "real teacher" if you are merely an expert in your field and good with kids.
I agree. This criteria is crap.
"If they do run into a problem with the bureaucracy of the school system, should they call it a lost cause, quit, and let these kids suffer even more?"
Well...maybe not "quit" - they should refuse to report to work until the environment is scrubbed clean - new curriculum, new staff, no safety risks whatsoever - and somehow the kids are supposed to all get to the school without riding "dangerous" school busses.
Of course..the kids are home - alone - while everyone tries to work on that little project.