Lifelong Learning for Teachers Teaching Is Often Essay

Total Length: 1177 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 8

Page 1 of 4

Lifelong Learning for Teachers

Teaching is often described as one of the noblest of all professions. What is less often acknowledged is how difficult a profession it is. Part of this difficulty arises from the fact that the standards by which teachers are judged shift from year to year. These standards, while purporting to arise from concern for providing the nation's children with the best possible education, are in fact often more reflective of political changes in concept about pedagogy. In the scenery of shifting political winds and the true complexity about what constitutes the most effective ways of teaching, it is difficult for teachers to make the most informed decisions about how to engage in lifelong learning activities that will truly benefit their students as well as helping them pursue their own personal career goals. This paper examines some of the key issues in this complex topic.

Shain has written some of the most trenchant analysis of this topic, noting that the ways in which teachers are judged, and the larger issue of the ways in which the idea of professionalism within the teaching sector is defined to begin with, are affected by politics and overall shifts in society that reflect evolving ideas about the relative importance and responsibility of the state and private interests:

This analysis reveals that 'public sector' notions of teacher professionalism committed to notions of service to community and teacher autonomy are challenged by market liberal reform committed to privatisation and deregulation in ways that suggest deprofessionalisation proceeds alongside reprofessionalisation as part of an ongoing politics of knowledge, power and social organisation. Seddon encourages researchers to consider the character and parameters of preferred reprofessionalisations that might be pursued through contemporary processes of educational change. (Shain, n.d.)

Shain argues that one of the key loci of this shift in recasting the roles and responsibilities of teachers is in the "industry" of Further Education or lifelong learning.
Further Education for teachers has brought into the state-sponsored education system "the discipline of the market" and has emphasized ideologies such as Total Quality Management (TQM) that encourage "the internalisation of control, and surveillance of workers."

Another controlling feature is the way in which managerialism turns senior professionals, who might be resistant to loss of professional autonomy, into managers, 'by giving them budgets or by setting them adrift as quasi-autonomous business units' & #8230;. This led to a shift in the locus of control from the centre to the local college site with power invested in the Principal as manager for the state in face-to-face relations. (Shain, n.d.)

Such a model, as pushed by Further Education courses as well as other aspects of the educational hierarchy, runs counter to the more traditional model of teacher as a master worker, essentially analogous to a master worker in a craft system (Hargreaves, 1994, p. 71).

One of the central dynamics in the current education profession is a push towards considering it to be a profession. While this might sound as if it would rebound to the advantage of teachers (who does not want to be a professional, after all?) it has stripped a great deal of the authority from teachers. By the constant push towards further professionalization and lifelong learning, the power structure of the teaching profession is reducing the importance of experience, a more craft-based perspective (Hager, Gonczi, & Athanasou, 1994, p. 13).

While certainly there are always new things to learn in any career, the current focus on always having to learn new information and new techniques strips….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?