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Definition Of Teacher Professionalism

Introduction Teacher professionalism is a considerable point of discord in Irish society today. It is the focus of much contestation amongst teachers, policymakers and students (Gleeson 2010). Teacher professionalism is a multi faceted, ideological construct that changes over time and is located in a particular socio economic context (Stephenson et. al 2007). Throughout this module I have found that many of the prior assumptions I had of teacher professionalism have been challenged and my understanding has developed immensely. In this capstone essay, I will detail how my understanding of teacher professionalism has developed. In addition, I will critically evaluate the issues from a variety of perspectives including teachers, students and…show more content…
My initial perceptions and prior assumptions of teacher professionalism were rather simplistic (See Learning Log, Week 3, p4-6). My understanding of teacher professionalism was that it related to personal characteristics, responsibilities and your perceived ability by others. It had no real relevance to your daily life or prior experiences of teaching and learning. I found that at first I was resistant to altering my perceptions of the issue. Whilst on the surface I appeared to be engaging with the material (See Initial Mind Map), in reality, I was quiet pessimistic and felt that the material was just something that I just had to learn off for assessment purposes. This was just something I had to do before I became fully qualified and could forget all about when I started learning about “everyday teaching on the job” (See Learning Log, Week 6 p14-15) Professional development and professionalism was something deemed less important than appearing to be a “good teacher” However, though the process of core reflection aided by the literature, I have become aware of the negative attitude of professional development that I had developed (Learning Log, Week 9, p20-21), which was characterised by personal contradiction. An attitude of doing whatever was required to perform well irrespective of the personal believes I had in relation to what education actually is all about (See Final Mind…show more content…
This is causing “values schizophrenia” (Ball 2010, p221) for teachers who are trying to reconcile their commitment to their students and their necessity to be “seen to perform well”. The Irish education system’s main focus is on exam results and performance. The tremendous focus on achieving these results has resulted in restrictions on the teaching profession. Teachers are not expected to develop with the literature; the focus is on exams (Hoyle 1974). This agenda stems from society’s neoliberal focus on performance. Schools experience increased pressure to “package performance” (Eisner, 2002) into a tightly restricted and measurable product (Hargreaves,
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