Book News: June 21st, 2007

By John Craig and Catherine FieschiThis report from DEMOS explores what kind of teacher professionalism we need in order to provide the best for children and it seeks to shed light on the stress and sense of diminished professionalism that teachers across the education system report. It aims to empower both teachers and others within the education system to better understand and influence some of the forces that shape their professionalism.

The report argues that teaching has changed fundamentally in a range of ways. Schools’ and teachers’ responsibilities are more diverse than ever and the profession is developing on several fronts simultaneously. As teachers experiment with their professional roles, they are subject to both new burdens and new freedoms. Beyond whether teachers are more or less professional, the very game of professionalism is changing.

The authors use the term DIY professionalism to explore a set of collectively held norms that regulate the teaching profession according to values and practices that are embedded in the experience of shared professional goals and relationships.

The idea that teaching is increasingly about DIY professionalism is based on a number of factors including markers revealing a shift to the cultural and informal and away from the structural and formal. Professionalism is also more deeply personal than ever before, so that views of the profession are much more diverse. For some, the job is more satisfying while for others it is more stressful and exhausting.

The report is available at: http://www.demos.co.uk/files/DIY%20Professionalism.pdf1.