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T2 - Teacher Professionalization and Professionalism (2014)

Teachers and Teaching in Context 2013
Teacher Professionalization and
Dr. James Ko
Overview – learning outcomes
 Able to understand the concepts of teacher
professionalization and professionalism
 Able to tell the constructions of professional identities as
professionals in Hong Kong
 Able to address the issues related to teacher
professionalization and professionalism in Hong Kong
PART I: Professionalism and Professionalization
Four Ages of Professionalism and
Professional Learning by Hargreaves (2000)
Characterizing the stages of professionalization of teachers
1. Define professionalism
2. Define teachers as professionals
What constitute a person to be a professional? Watch him:
• the pre-professional age;
• the age of autonomous professional
• the age of collegial professional;
• the age of post-professional or postmodern
The Pre-professional Age
• Factory-like public education
• Traditional, recitation/lecturing based teaching with four main
– Maintaining student attention,
– Securing coverage of content,
– Eliciting some motivation
– Achieving some degree of mastery
• Lesson structures orient toward collective student, rather than
• Emphasis on overall flow of lesson and order and control
• ‘Restricted professionalism’ (Hoyle, 1974),
• Dominant in East Asian countries under Confucian traditions
The Age of Autonomous Professional
• An era of curriculum innovation led by individual teachers (Weston, 1979);
• Educational changes were not yet institutionalized as teaching routines in
practices (Fullan, 1991);
• Dependent on individual's professional judgment  professional and
autonomy became inseparable;
• ‘licensed autonomy’ as teachers enjoyed trust, material reward, occupational
security and professional dignity and discretion with pedagogical freedom
(Dale, 1988);
• Progressivism has not showed strong evidence of successes as the realities of
classroom haven’t changed
• Teaching is still vey much individualistic (Hargreaves, 1980)  “teachers are
isolated people. They don’t know what others are doing” (Johnson, 1990,
• Causes and consequences of individualism in teaching (Hargreaves, 2000,
The Age of Collegial Professional
• “Teachers rework their roles and identities as professionals in a more
consciously collegial workplace” (p.162)
• Causes for collaborations (pp.162-163):
Expansion and rapid changes in teachers’ work
Additional pastoral work
Inclusive education practices
Growing multicultural diversity
Structural limits to improving classroom teaching;
Alienations for many secondary students who can’t fit in schools as
– Changes in school management and leadership that led to teamwork and
collaborative decision-making
– Some successful implementation of change
• Professional learning communities evolve from strong collaborative culture
(Nias et al.,1989) or professional community (Talbert & McLaughlin, 1994)
in school;
The Age of Post-professional or Postmodern
• Two possible trends:
– Open. Inclusive, democratic
– Restructured to remain competitive and respond quickly
– Teacher professionalism become diminished/abandoned
– Subject to globalization and digital revolution;
– Defend deprofessionalization, blaming and shaming
– All teachers must value and defend their entitlement
Guided questions for reading:
• Hargreaves mentions a set of practices inherited from the earlier
generations that defined the essence of teaching. What practices
comprise this historical legacy and persist in pockets of the profession
today in the Hong Kong context?
• “[Teaching] profession is subjected to public blaming, shaming and
intrusive inspection” (p. 169). Is this true in Hong Kong? Why or why not?
• Does the teaching profession in Hong Kong also bear the marks of the
four ages of professionalism? If yes, what is the impact of each age?
• How do you understand professionalism and professionalization based on
the reading?
Teacher professionalization in Hong Kong:
Historical Perspectives-by A. Sweeting (2008)
What is “professionalization”?
Eric Hoyle (1982:161) defined professionalization as “the
process whereby an occupation increasingly meets the
criteria attributes to a profession”.
Teacher professionalization in HK
What’s the concept of “profession”?
• “Profession is regarded as “contested”. It applies
variously, perhaps indiscriminately, to a broad range of
• Nowadays, it is commonly used about by medial
doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers; sometimes as
an aspiration by teachers or as form of modification
about them.
Teacher professionalization in HK
Two poles of teacher preparation
During the past four decades:
• microteaching
• competency/performance-based teacher education
• “teacher-proof” curriculum packages
• externally-imposed “standard” for teachers
• standardized curricula
From the liberal pole towards the technical pole.
Teacher professionalization in HK
The Chinese Background
• The traditional Chinese
respect for teachers is
closely related to their
respect of scholars.
• In the various region in
China, a range of
educational institutions
provided opportunities for
different types of teachers,
with different status, but
with little or no sense of
The goal of
Hortatory in style
Teacher professionalization in HK
Professionalization in Pre-colonial Hong Kong
• During this period, vocationalism was an uneasy precursor
of professionalization, serving as times as a substitute and
an obstacle to be overcome.
• On the whole, professionalism was NOT a feature of
education in the Hong Kong region before the arrival of the
British, although some of the prerequisites for its
development, including concern over standards, already
Teacher professionalization in HK
Professionalization in Early Colonial Hong Kong
• The arrival of the British from the early 1840s made little
difference in the short term to teacher professionalization.
• In 1848, grounds for differences became firmer when Hong
Kong Government set up a small Committee of
Superintendence to satisfy itself about the standards of
teaching and learning in the Government-supported
• This top-down approach did little to enhance the
professionalism of local teachers, but it did serve as early
examples of a move towards “passive teacher
Teacher professionalization in HK
Professionalization in Colonial Hong Kong
• Government approved the introduction of pupil-teacher
schemes of “professional” preparation in 1853 and
eventually at its own showpiece establishment, the Central
School, from 1865.
• For opening of evening “extension classes” for in-service
teachers at the new Technical Institute in 1907 was justified
on grounds of value for money.
• In addition, the first sign of teacher unionization appeared,
with the Hong Kong Teachers’ Association established in
1934. Other signs include the formation of subject
associations to enhance developments in a number of
curriculum areas.
Teacher professionalization in HK
Teacher Preparation and Status during the
Japanese Occupation
• The Japanese authorities made no provision for university
level education throughout their occupation in Hong Kong.
• In 1943, they opened a girl’s secondary school as a pale
substitute for the University to offer “normal school
education” with the focusing on the training of elementary
school teachers.
• However, Japanese reinforced their acknowledgement of
the importance of teachers at the end of 1943.
Teacher professionalization in HK
Limitations to Teacher Professionalization during Postwar Reconstruction
• The main factors influencing policy and practice about
teacher preparation in Hong Kong are financial constraints
and supply considerations.
• Government commitment to teacher professionalization was
limited and did not reflect an urgent priority. The results
included :
 an increasing number of untrained teacher
 Problems concerning teacher morale
 A conspicuous lack of teacher participation in education policy
Teacher professionalization in HK
Progress towards Teacher Professionalization during
the Second Half of the 20th Century
• Basic considerations related to teacher supply in a time of
rapid school expansion influenced the creation of new
teacher training institutions and courses.
• Teacher’s support for activist unions is NOT necessarily
compatible with self-motivated professionalization.
• HK Professional Teachers’ Union (PTU) concerned more
with political and economic issues than with ethics, the
enhancement of teaching skills and pedagogical
knowledge, service to clients, or collegiality.
Teacher professionalization in HK
Progress towards Teacher Professionalization during
the Second Half of the 20th Century
• In June 1989, the first teachers’ centre was opened and it
played a small, practical part in teacher professionalization,
by providing some resources, less isolation and more
• In 1991, the establishment of a special (“functional”
constituency for teachers in the indirect Legislative Council
elections was another politically oriented development for
teacher professionalization. However, in practical terms, the
functional constituency of teachers did NOT invariably serve
of teacher professionalization.
Teacher professionalization in HK
Education Reforms and Teacher Professionalization 1
• The education reform movements in Hong Kong were
mainly top-down initiatives and they were confined to
quantitative expansion, such as “blister programme” at
• Although the two programmes did facilitate a radical
reduction in the proportion of untrained teachers in
secondary schools, it caused disruption organizationally
and for some staff, in personal terms.
Teacher professionalization in HK
Education Reforms and Teacher Professionalization 2
• The establishment of new Institute of language in Education
(ILE) in 1982 together with other government initiatives, led
to some improvements both in quantitative and in qualitative
• However, it is more than likely that the government’s main
motivation related to teacher supply and control, rather than
teacher professionalization.
Teacher professionalization in HK
Education Reforms and Teacher Professionalization 3
• Although HKIED undoubtedly contributed to the
professionalization of large number of local teachers,
continuing problems have tended to distract attention from
these contributions.
• Similarly, although the Council of Professional Conduct in
Education provided teachers and academics with some
channels to experience professional autonomy; and despite
the official rhetoric about its purpose and importance, it was
under-funded and under-deployed.
Teacher professionalization in HK
1. At least some teachers are making efforts to professionalize
themselves, creating the firmest grounds for optimism about the
prospects for teacher professionalization in Hong Kong.
2. Professionalization, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries,
has benefited significantly from newer classroom skills and
reflection oriented teacher education programs.
3. However, the academicization of teacher educators now place
on research and publications instead of improve the quality of
the training teachers.
4. Actual usage of the term “professional” and its derivatives has
increased markedly with the high-sounding, but soon moribund.
Activity 1: The meaning of professionals
Professionals and Professionalization Framework
This is a TED talk of a mountain rescue expert. Part of his job is to train
youths to become professional mountain rescuers around the world.
Summarize as many key points as you can and then compare the ones we
went through in Hargreaves (2000)
Notes for the video on professionalism
• Professionals deliver JUDGMENT
–  more uncertainties we face  more important judgment becomes (Think:
what certainties we face in the classroom)
–  and more important the role the professional (Logic: the more uncertainties
the classroom has, the more important role the teacher has)
• Attitude  (drives) behavior  (drives) action (reinforces) Attitudes
• To be a professional is a process (a journey) :
– take real internal drive and motivation
– sparkled with interest in desire
– develop value and judgment that is mission critical to what we do
• A framework to be a professional:
KNOWING – is more than awareness, understand and take the knowledge to APPLY it and
HELPING – giving, helping and being there for people; HELPING PROFESSIONALS HELP
skills UP-TO-DATE (yesterday knowledge is not always good enough for future problems)
PART II: Professionalism and Ethics
Professionalism and ethics in teaching –
by D. Carr, D. (2000)
Fundamental assumptions and basic questions (pp.3-8):
1) Teaching is a professional activity;
2) Any professional enterprise is deeply implicated in ethical concerns
and considerations;
3) Teaching is also an enterprise which is deeply and significantly
implicated in ethical concerns and considerations;
4) There are distinctions among teaching, education, and schooling;
5) Teaching concerns intentional activities to promote learning;
6) Effective teaching is a matter of acquiring behavioral skills of
promoting learning;
7) Teaching is art of mastering particularity – able to perceive what is
pedagogically or interpersonally salient in a specific educational
Professionalism and ethics
Functions of teaching (p.9)
• There are normative constraints on teaching;
– Less technical and aesthetic;
– More moral and ethical;
• Good teaching is not just teaching that is causally effective
or personally attractive, but that seeks best to promote the
moral, psychological and physical well-being of learners;
• All teaching must be bounded by professional ties of
accountability and responsibility to employers, parents,
pupils, etc
• Professions and professionals are bounded by their
professional ethics
Professionalism and ethics
What makes an occupation professional?(p.23)
1. Professions provide an important public service;
2. They involve a theoretically as well as practically
grounded expertise;
3. They have a distinct ethical dimension which calls for
expression in a code of practice (knowledge, skills,
values, attitudes or motives);
4. They require organization and regulation for purposes of
recruitment and discipline;
5. Professional practitioners require a high degree of
individual autonomy – independence of judgment – for
effective practice.
Activity 2: Professionalization vs Fabrication
• What does it mean by being a professional model?
• Being professionals is NOT BECAUSE you fit the preferred or
privileged (image) requirements for a legend
• The process of professionalization is NOT a process of
FABRICATION by yourself or others
• Be aware of FABRICATIONS or MYTHS for teaching and teachers
• FABRICATIONS and MYTHS are superficial and shallow, but they
profoundly affect us, creating biases, stereotypes, insecurities, and
• Professionalization builds up inner strengths, while fabrications build
up insecurity
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education in
Hong Kong-by Paul Morris (2008)
• What is the difference between “Professionality”,
“Professionalism” and “Professionalization”?
• Improving the professionalism of teaching =
improving the status of teacher education
Knowledge, skills
Various factors
The process of trying to
and procedures
which affect the
improve the level of
use orstatus,
professionalism (status,
• which
OED: The
skill expected
a professional.
in the process of
conditions of the
pay, self-regulation, etc.)
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education
Teacher professionalization in HK before 1997
The features of teaching in Hong Kong that have served to define its status and level of
professionalism prior to 1997 were:
No minimum entry requirements for people to obtain employment as teachers
Teachers had no background in majoring the subjects which they were teaching,
like English and Arts
Most teacher education courses were sub-degree programmes that were outside
the mainstream university sector
A strong distinction between the status and qualifications of secondary school
teachers of academic subjects and that of both primary teachers and secondary
teachers of non-academic subjects.
No agency that serves to represent teachers professionally or to regulate teachers’
professional behavior
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education
The Context Prior to Reunification with China
Until 1990s, attempts were made in Hong Kong to enhance the
status of teaching due to the following factors:
A signal failure in the policy making process to anticipate the
impact on teacher education and the teaching profession
Many of those who were making decisions about education policy
were reluctant to see the government lose its control of those
School curricula were depoliticized and focused on far away
places and times
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education
Professionalism, Accountability and Self-Regulation
• The government’s desire to avoid the emergence of a
stronger teaching profession was to develop a selfregulating and accountable profession in Hong Kong.
• The Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and
Qualifications (ACTEQ) is the only formal body
empowered to support the process of professionalization
of teaching. However, it is a classic example of the
government’s instinct to reply on a top-down, bureaucratic
and paternalistic approach.
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education
1997+ – the quest for quality
Enhancing teacher quality (qualifications)
Establishment of
35 % of teachers in
primary schools should
be graduates
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education
The quest for quality 2
How to achieve this goal?
Developing and implementing educational reform policies to
improve the quality of schooling
Matters of accountability
and quality assurance
Policy on
medium of
of teachers
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education
The quest for quality 3
A number of interconnected tactics to support government’s
intentions to promote educational reform :
Fostering of a climate of heavy-duty criticism of the status
quo as the rationale for introducing new policies
Extensive reference is made to the need for fundamental or
revolutionary rather than evolutionary change
A range of measures made by government to directly evaluate,
monitor and control teachers
A process of dealing with any perceived criticism of government
policy in a way which combines vilification with retribution (??)
Teacher professionalism and Teacher Education
Contradictions between the govt’s desire to upgrade teaching
profession and its policy actions remains marginalized
How to explain this paradox?
The decline of the welfare state and the emergence of a fundamental paradox
in education policies can be regarded as a broader global trend
The ongoing ideological tension between the state and its teacher, like case
Overarching impact in Hong Kong of the government’s low level of legitimacy
on all aspects of policy making
The government played an increasingly interventionist role through the active
promotion of the role of the market and of contractual relationships.
• Carr, D. (2000). Professionalism and ethics in teaching. London:
• Hargreaves, A. (2000) Four Ages of professionalism and professional
learning, Teachers and Teaching, 6(2), 151-182
• Morris, P. (2008). Teacher professionalism and teacher education in
Hong Kong. In McGregor, D., & Cartwright, L. (Eds. ), Teaching :
professionalization, development and leadership. (pp. 119-138). New
York : Springer.
• Sweeting, A. (2008). Teacher professionalization in Hong Kong :
Historical perspectives. In McGregor, D., & Cartwright, L. (Eds. ),
Teaching : professionalization, development and leadership. (pp. 4565). New York : Springer.