Saturday, May 31, 2008

Teaching as a Profession

I am currently reading Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody. Shirky makes a lot of good points and I am only on chapter 4. He talks about professionalism and the current nature of professionalism. "There is an instructive hypocrisy here. A professional often becomes a gatekeeper, by providing a necessary or desirable social function but also by controlling that function." That quote started me thinking about the teaching profession. Do teachers try to "control" the function of educating in our society? Then another quote from Shirky's book hit me, "Professional self-conception and self-defense, so valuable in ordinary times, become a disadvantage in revolutionary ones, because professionals are always concerned with threats to the profession."

Is it the nature of teachers as professionals that is holding the education "revolution," if you will, back? Do teachers have to step outside of themselves as professionals in order to move forward with education in the Conceptual Age?

Yes, I know that Shirky was not making a direct correlation between his remarks and the teaching profession. But I can't help wondering what the application is to the teaching profession.



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