The Profession of Education: Responsibilities, Ethics and Pedagogic Experimentation 

Shannon Kincaid, Ph.D.

Philip Pecorino, Ph.D.

The art of teaching is to teach, to teach well and to teach even better.


Chapter: II. Education as a Profession 

John Dewey noted education as a profession in remarks made in relation to the National Education Association and the American Association of University Professors.  He once compared the AAUP to the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association thinking that the professoriate would become a self governing profession.  (John Dewey, “The American Association of University Professors Introductory Address,” Science, Vol. 41, no 1048 (Jan. 29, 1915), 150.)

One of the original goals of the National Education Association as stated in its first annual meeting was “ To create and permanently establish a teacher’s profession by methods usually adopted by other professions.” (Zalman Richards, “History of the National Education Association of the United States, Its Organizations and Functions, A Historical Sketch “ (The National Education Association, 1892, 24.)

It is interesting to note that despite the long history of professional organizations for educators and for the professoriate educators are more prone to recognize themselves as professional educators at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels of education than in higher education.  At the level of higher education, educators typically identify themselves first and foremost as members of academic disciplines other than education.  Ask an 11th grade math teacher, “what do you do for a living?” and the answer will be “I’m a teacher.”  Ask the same question of a college professor and the response will most likely be “sociologist” or “economist.”  This trend in the self-identification of post-secondary educators exposes the general insensitivity toward the profession of teaching, and a lack of awareness of the ethical obligations attached to teaching.  At the level of higher education there appears to be a general insensitivity or low level of awareness or concern about the professional responsibilities of educators and this has its ramifications in the subsequent low level of sensitivity to the ethical considerations related to conducting research with humans in the role of learners.  

The under-emphasis on teaching among the members of the American professoriate is also apparent in the desirability of “teaching” jobs with as little teaching as possible.  The higher the “prestige” of a college or university, the lower the teaching load.  Indeed, in emphasizing publication and research, and by “raising the bar” for tenure and promotion, administrations around the country have tacitly acknowledged that effective teaching is secondary (perhaps tertiary) to research and professional service in an academic discipline.  And rare indeed is the professor promoted solely on the basis of effective teaching. Too many in the post-secondary education view teaching as the necessary evil of their jobs, and as an unfortunate duty which robs them of time for research and publication.

This is not to argue that scholarship is not important for effective teaching.  One simply cannot be an effective post-secondary educator in any academic discipline without actively participating in the contemporary arenas of scholarship.  Being an effective scholar is a necessary condition of good teaching, but it is not a sufficient condition of effective pedagogy.

Too many individuals in higher education have simply forgotten what they knew back in sixth grade: education is a profession.  They recognize it with those who teach in elementary and secondary education, but fail to see it in higher education.  Why?  Is it because there are too many people in higher education that do not identify themselves as educators?  Perhaps.  What is more certain is the fact that most college professors are not quick to describe themselves as professional educators, preferring a discipline related descriptor instead, such as “sociologist”, “chemist”, or “engineer.”  Even the term “professor” evokes not a teacher in a classroom, but an expert in a lecture hall “professing” what they know.

The rather wide spread absence of educators to identify themselves as professional educators is only explained as a reflection of the failure of a number of institutions to communicate this that starts with the faculty of educational institutions and their rather lax regard for the notion of professionalism and all that would entail and extends to the graduate programs , even those for future teachers, and their remarkable failure to address some fundamental notions, socially constructed to be sure, but definite notions of what being a professional is about and the incumbent set of responsibilities that are part of that identity and membership in that group.  In the academy there is much more than lip service paid to the notion of academic freedom and the rights and prerogatives of educators and faculty but scarce attention to the responsibilities and duties they attach to the members of the profession.  Where responsibilities and duties are much more often addressed is in the context of employer-employee relations and the basic duties of the teacher as employee and the terms of contracts and collective bargaining agreements.  The persistence of many of the problems related to teaching faced by professional educators at all levels and in particular in higher education can be identified as resulting from a failure of educators to accept their identity as professional educators and their collective responsibilities.  Educational institution will not respond to the expression of individual educators but must respond to the collective for it is the collective that is responsible for accomplishing the mission of the institution.  It is a bit paradoxical that individual educators may be able to successfully address and remedy many of their problems only by admitting to an identity as a professional educator, taking on additional responsibilities in order to arrive as a member of a collective that will act to effectuate those remedies: taking on or becoming aware of more responsibilities leads to a more manageable way in which to fulfill all responsibilities..

Given the degree to which those in higher education fail to recognize or accommodate to education as a profession there is need to further set out how it is so that it is a separate profession and how this is acknowledged to some degree in language and practice.  To establish that teaching is a profession separate from but fully the equal to the academic discipline as a profession there is a need to set out some evidence of this. 

When baccalaureate degree recipients announce their intention to go on into graduate studies they are often asked in what discipline or academic area they will study.  After answering “sociology” or “physics” or “philosophy” they will more often than not be asked what they intend to do once having achieved the doctorate in that discipline.  Often, but not always, the answer is “teach”.  It is not assumed that becoming the holder of a doctorate and becoming an entrant into the profession of the academic discipline will necessarily mean that the professional will teach.   Teaching is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition to be a physicist or sociologist or anthropologist or philosopher.   Being a physicist or sociologist or anthropologist or philosopher is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition to teach. Natural and social scientists can be and are employed outside educational institutions and employed to continue their activities as scientists.  So too can those who have earned advanced degrees in Literature or Philosophy find employment outside of the academy whereby they can continue their studies and other activities within their academic discipline. 

When a graduate student or doctoral candidate or doctorate holder applies for a position in an educational institution that reflects a choice not to pursue some other form of employment that would be either to some degree supportive of their being a practitioner and active member of their academic discipline or else not at all  directly supportive.    It happens that educational institutions, particularly in higher education, are quite supportive of academicians continuing on with their academic profession.  Indeed, most educational institution would expect academicians to continue on with activities within their academic discipline and most, if not all, require such continued participation in an academic discipline.   The doctorate in philosophy or Ph.D. which is required for entry into most academic professions and in nearly all cases into the professoriate was originally a teaching degree.  From the latin verb docere (or “to teach”) comes the word “doctor.”    So while educational institutions are most supportive of research and publication within the academic disciplines they are not the only means by which academic professionals might support themselves. 

The point to be made is that within educational institutions it has always been the case, little acknowledged recently, that the activities within the academic discipline were in addition to and not, wherever possible, instead of the activities of an educator.  The unfortunate situation has developed and become too common in which many enter into the professoriate hoping to arrive at a point at which they do little, if any, teaching and a great deal of research and publication.  With many luminaries in the academic disciplines having achieved such a position it became the desideratum of many entering into the academy.  This has hurt the profession of education that so many of its members enter it nearly blind to its nature and obligations.

What is the source of this low level of recognition for the professional educational responsibilities of professors, let alone the ethical considerations associated with pedagogical research?  Part of the problem stems from the drive for prestige among faculty members.  Publishing books can make you famous, and can open up better-paying jobs at ever more prestigious universities.  Teaching simply cannot provide these things.

One of the central goals of this work is to lead post-secondary educators to recognize the unique nature of their positions.  A college professor is at once a member of two professions: their specific discipline and of the profession of education itself.  This dual membership has significant implications.  While the duties of the respective professions do sometimes conflict, these occasional conflicts are not as significant as the fact that  it presents a set of dual responsibilities for the educator.  But among the American professoriate, individuals too often neglect the duties and responsibilities of one profession in seeking the fulfillment of those in another.   The demands on the time of faculty imposed by the massing of responsibilities leads finite beings with finite time not only to prioritize their interests, but often to neglect some responsibilities for the sake of fulfilling others that are perceived as more pressing or at least more apparent to one or the other of the two communities than others appear to be.   The responsibilities to remain a member in good standing with one’s professional academic discipline are set out by its members and have become both well entrenched through time and well transmitted through a variety of means.   The instructional staff write books, subscribe to journals, attend conferences, and talk with others about what it means to be a member in good standing of their respective academic disciplines.

The fulfillment of obligations in order to remain a member in good standing of the profession of education are not so well known.   Untenured faculty do have their classes observed by senior faculty, and students are asked to evaluate certain courses.  The drive to assess courses continues, but it what it means to be a “good teacher” remains vague at best in most institutions of higher education or at its worst equated to being a good scholar.  Individual examples abound of those who “profess” to be members of the profession of education by virtue of their occupation, but who acknowledge few, if any, of the requirements of membership at all.  This is a situation demonstrating that the professional standards of education have been diffused, and that the profession has no easily identified core practitioners who set the standard as educators per se.  Nor are such standards generally recognized, accepted and promulgated, with members being held accountable to it as criterion for continuing membership (if not for distinction) as members of the profession of education.

Some members of the faculty are beginning to realize what being a member of the profession of education might entail.  In higher education the recent appearance and rapid expansion of Centers for Teaching and Learning (CETL) and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) are reflections of that realization.   These are welcome developments, for it demonstrates the desire on the part of faculty and administrations to “take teaching seriously,” but much more remains to be done.  Most of these efforts lack an effective presentation of the foundational conceptual framework upon which and within which the discussions can take place of what it means to teach and to teach well and to teach even better.  Only with and within a full narrative of the meaning of education and the role of an educator can a discussion of the responsibilities of educators become a productive and effective discourse.

Unfortunately, too many members of the academy who identify themselves primarily as researchers and scholars in their academic discipline, see their teaching duties as a distraction or worse yet, as an onerous duty within the institution of their employment.  This attitude would reflect an orientation and set of values that leads to a devaluing or ignoring of the responsibilities of the profession of education on the part of faculty members. 

What are those responsibilities that accrue to members of profession of education?  To answer that a general understanding of what constitutes a profession is in order.  With that understanding in place then the discussion of professional responsibilities can proceed to elucidate the professional responsibilities that are entailed by membership in the profession. It will be advanced that within the profession of education such responsibilities include that of conducting pedagogic experimentation as well as formal research and publication in pedagogy.

Education is a profession and it is such at all levels of formal instruction and in all types of educational institutions. What makes it a profession?  Those who share in common activities and associate with one another constitute a profession when joining its ranks entails the fulfillment of criteria that involve academic preparation, training and certification and the identification with and assumption of responsibilities to that association.  This description is fulfilled in the case of education through the educational requirements placed upon educators at all levels and through their licensing and review and evaluation processes, and the variety of ways in which educators associate and communicate among themselves.  Also important are the standards, expectations and duties of professionals, as well as the responsibilities and obligations that accrue to members of the profession.  Some are explicated in terms related to specific employment and others in terms related to specific professional organizations.

To be a member of a profession, there are certain basic criteria which must be met.  As Michael Bayles argues in Professional Ethics, while there is no agreement regarding a singular definition of the term “profession,” there are certain general features which “are necessary for an occupation to be a profession.”  (Bayles, 1981; p. 7)   These common features involve intensive training and intellectual preparation.  This training and preparation are then prepared to provide services which are important in the maintenance and development of society.  The professional is typically licensed or certified, or is required to meet specific educational requirements. 

In contributing to the greater social good, and because of the standards set by the profession itself, professionals are granted an extraordinary amount of autonomy to make judgments within their profession.  Indeed, as Bayles points out, the general public expects professionals to make judgments. Professionals are paid to make judgments.  But, as Bayles observes, “[i]f professionals did not exercise their judgment in these aspects, we would have little reason to hire them” (Bayles, 1981, p. 8).    

Is post-secondary education a profession?  The basic criteria of a profession are easily met in the field of education.   What follows is a cursory examination of the criteria for a profession and how they are met by post secondary educators.  As we will argue later on, many of the ethical issues in the context of pedagogical experimentation can only be understood within the context of the professional responsibilities.

The professional post-secondary educator must:

1. Be educated or prepared for entry into the profession: expert knowledge

There are academic credentials required to be hired or certified as an educator.  And while college educators are not typically required to be certified by government institutions, part of the accreditation process for graduate schools involves verifying that graduates are adequately prepared for post secondary teaching.  

The preparation for membership into the profession of post secondary education starts with college, where students are required to meet certain standards to gain entry into the profession.  It culminates with the offer of employment from an institution of learning, and also involves certification, tenure, and promotion decisions.  College instructors are not “certified” per se; but for the most part, they are required to possess advanced graduate degrees or extensive professional experience, and, increasingly, both.  There is a type of certification or credentialing as professional educators that does take place that is the equivalent of a licensing. It is as clear as it is common that educators at the pre school level and from levels K to 12 are credentialed and must pass any one or more of a number of credentialing or licensing examinations as well as a process of review and evaluation for their appointments, promotions and tenure.  Post secondary educators are no less subject to a process of review and evaluation although they do not receive a license or special credential to teach in a college or university.  As already noted candidates for membership in a faculty of a post secondary educational institution are required to have received some formal recognition of their academic preparation for teaching in the form of a degree.  Beyond the degree indicating their proficiency in some academic discipline faculty they are expected to demonstrate their competency to teach and are given a number of years during which their knowledge of the subject matter and their proficiency in teaching it to others is to be observed by peers.  Peer mentoring and faculty development programs are available for faculty seeking to further perfect their skills and improve upon the efficacy of their instruction both during and beyond this period.   In an institution of higher education the granting of reappointments and tenure are the functional equivalent of the credentialing or licensing of an educator as an educator.

2. Apply for membership

Individuals become members of the profession of education through the voluntary application for employment as an educator.  Beyond this application are those made for enrollment and induction into professional associations such as the American Association of University Professors.

3. Profess that they are members, and pledge to abide by the ethical and professional standards set by the community

One declares that one is an educator or teacher when asked about the profession or vocation or type of employment.  Also, each member of the profession recognizes that all educators are bound by standards of personal and professional conduct.  And this is one of the most important aspects of the status of profession.  Like it or not, professional post-secondary educators must not only fulfill their obligations as instructors but as members of the profession of education they are held to higher standards with regards to their personal and professional activities. Teachers in general are seen as moral exemplars and role models by society.  

4. Engage in the activities of the profession  

In some way, at some level, at any institution, the post-secondary educator engages in the activities of instruction of others, be it through direct instruction, tutoring, mentoring, curriculum development, peer observations, or active engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning  The mentoring of new faculty is a crucially important facet of post-secondary education.  

5. Maintain status in the profession

A member of the education profession teaches and remains an educator as long as providing for the instruction of others in some manner and continues to meet the standards and requirements instituted by the profession itself.

6.  Submit to evaluation as a member of the profession: to maintain status or be elevated within or removed from such: Autonomy of the profession

Professional educators are evaluated by their supervisors or peers over some appreciable period of time in order to establish their qualifications for certification or membership and for promotion.  Effective teaching is, more often than not, recognized as a factor in tenure and promotion decisions.  Society grants the profession the right to oversee its own membership and to police itself and remove members as it sees fit due to the special knowledge held by the professionals and their value to society.

7. Contribute toward the maintenance of the profession

Educators support educational enterprises aimed at the support of members of the profession.  They join professional societies and subscribe to professional journals and attend professional meetings and conferences.  They also mentor junior faculty, and where applicable, introduce interns and teaching and grading assistants to the profession itself.

8. Forward the progress of the profession: contribution to society

Educators contribute to the progress of their profession by disseminating what they have learned, and can serve to make other educators better at what they do through repeating the success or avoiding the failures at instruction of their colleagues in the profession.  Collectively educators set the standards to be observed by members and make note when they are not so observed.  This is done with respect for Academic Freedom which is also an expression of the collective right of the profession.  These rights are recognized by the general society so that the potential values added to society by the profession can be realized.  Education contributes by increasing the intellectual resources of society and providing for that which is needed for social cohesion and progress.

In his work on professional ethics ,Michael D. Bayles identifies teaching as a profession as it satisfies what he considers as the principle features for a profession

Three Necessary features of a profession

  1. Extensive training
  2. Significant intellectual component
  3. Provision of important service to society

Three Common features

  1. certification or licensing –officially or unofficially, formal or informal
  2. organization of members-
  3. autonomy--Michael D. Bayles, Professional Ethics , Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Inc., 1981. p.  3.

He then distinguishes two types or categories of professions: Consulting and Scholarly. 

The criteria for the consulting professions are: 

  • individual clients

  • Provision of a service related to basic values [of society]

  • Monopoly or near monopoly

  • Self regulation---Michael D. Bayles, Professional Ethics , Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Inc., 1981. p.  3

Bayles offers the following as examples of professions in this category: doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, architects, clergy, stock brokers, realtors, social workers, pharmacists.

The second category, the scholarly professions, appear to be so in as much as they are salaried professions that do not involve service to individual clients.  Bayles offers the following as examples of these: teachers, scientists, non-consulting engineers, journalists, technicians.

It should be fairly obvious that educators do have individual clients or students and that the profession does satisfy the criteria for a consulting profession in all respects.  That teachers often have multiple clients is no different than with lawyers and doctors and the other consulting professions.  Teachers do not serve large wholes or groups.  They teach either single individual learners as tutors or rather discrete and small groups but they relate to each learner on an individual basis for instruction and assessment and individualized aid. So Bayles has set out the criteria for his classification but then has proceeded to categorize teaching with facile reasoning as scholarly and not consulting when in fact there are forms of teaching that fit into both categories and some forms of teaching that fit into both.

Finally, in addressing the notion that the view that education is a profession might be something that is culturally located,  there is recognition by no less a world wide body as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that it is so:

Teaching in higher education is a profession: it is a form of public service that requires of higher education personnel expert knowledge and specialized skills acquired and maintained through rigorous and lifelong study and research; it also calls for a sense of personal and institutional responsibility for the education and welfare of students and of the community at large and for a commitment to high professional standards in scholarship and research. ---United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, 11 November 1997,

Identification with being a professional Educator

As argued above, there are some members of the profession who teach at the level of higher education who do not readily identify themselves as being professional educators. However, even those who are reluctant to accept their dual professional identity do acknowledge that they are professional educators in a number of ways that bear mentioning.

College faculty are quick to resist efforts to influence their selection of texts, teaching devices, methodologies and instructional design claiming, and rightly so.  It has long been the prerogative of individual faculty members to make such decisions as they see fit in the context of promoting the efficacy of instruction.  They make such judgments considering their experiences, the learners they are dealing with, their own teaching styles and the context in which they are offering instruction.  They assert that it is their right to make such decisions as they are experienced in providing for instruction.  They assert their prerogatives and invoke what they believe to be their "rights".  In so doing they rely on the implicit, and at times explicit, claim of their professionalism.  This is an acceptance of their membership in the profession of education for they invoke their right to make decisions regarding pedagogy and not their academic discipline when they speak about matters related to pedagogy.

As professional educators, faculty members are subject to strict codes of conduct and ethical standards in the classroom.  The American Association of University Professors has a number of policy statements and activities and even a Code of Professional Ethics that relate to members of the professoriate as educators and scholars.   The following is excerpted from the AAUP “Statement on Professional Ethics:”

            “Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the      advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon         them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth   as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise     critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting    knowledge…

            As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students.      They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline.             Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid            any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They   acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They            protect their academic freedom…

            …As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health      and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.”

As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars…           

In Teaching with Integrity: the Ethics of Higher Education Practice, Bruce Macfarlane rightly demonstrates that many academics are hesitant about identifying themselves as “professional educators.”  According to Macfarlane, professors worried about the increasing “corporatization” of post-secondary education, where students are “clients,” and education is a “product,” often hesitate in seeing themselves as educational professionals.  (Macfarlane, 1981; p. 8).    

The reasons for the hesitance are many, and might include the emphasis on academic (versus pedagogical) training in graduate schools, a conception of teaching as a hindrance to scholarly research, and a desire on the part of college professors to distinguish themselves from primary and secondary educators.  These unfortunate trends and misconceptions are rarely debated publicly, and it is difficult to establish the degree to which they contribute to the self-conceptions of post-secondary educators.  Indeed, there is a tension between the dual role of the college professor as both scholar and educator within the context of the AAUP Statement on Professional ethics itself.  On the one hand, a professor’s “primary responsibility” is to seek and state the truth.  On the other hand, professors should seek “above all to be effective teachers and scholars,” maintaining freedom of inquiry.  The conflict is seen in the "above all" and "primary" and in the "teacher" and "scholar".  The activities of "seeking the truth" and "stating the truth" should not be separated for the members of the professoriate but each of those activities can not be primary at the same time.  Many members of the professoriate place seeking the truth and stating in through publications as primary and enough of their colleagues on the faculty accept it as so to make it an acceptable paradigm.

Issues of academic freedom are hotly contested in academia.  As Macfarlane argues, one of the greatest fears among members of the professoriate is the erosion in professional and intellectual autonomy.  The freedom of professors to research and publish according to their individual interests and expertise has long been the foundation of free and open academic inquiry.  This is perhaps the most significant factor in a professor’s choice to identify themselves as a “biologist” or a “philosopher” rather than a “teacher.”  A discipline-oriented self-identification emphasizes the creative inquiry that drives scholarly research; a profession-oriented self-identification emphasizes the duties and obligations of the “job” of teaching. 

Macfarlane claims that the rejection of the profession-oriented self-identification of college professors is grounded in the fact that “[t]he room for professional discretion has been slowly eroded by a a range of interrelated changes in higher education…[including]   consumerism, modularization of the curriculum, the casualization of academic labour, government control, and `new managerialism`.”  (Marcfalane, 2004; p. 13.  Yet Macfarlane sees this trend towards the rejection of post-secondary education as `profession’ as unfortunate one, primarily because it leads to a weakened emphasis on the general ethical obligations of all professional educators.  And perhaps more significantly, it tends to marginalize the practices and concerns of those educators who “take teaching seriously.” 

Yet in this midst of this scholar/teacher dichotomy, there are several misconceptions.  First and foremost, it is simply wrong to claim that the “professionalization” of post-secondary educators will lead to an erosion of academic freedom.  In fact, the authors believe that academic freedom is only possible within the context of fulfilling professional duties and obligations.  It is by meeting their professional responsibilities as educators that scholars can enjoy the benefits of free academic inquiry.  Also, it is important to note that it is the professional obligations of teaching that often drives creative academic inquiry.

 When faculty of colleges and universities assert some claim under the overarching concept of "Academic Freedom" they are often making a claim that relates to themselves as educators and related to matters of pedagogy and their position and standing amongst educators as they are to make such claims as members of an academic discipline.  Indeed, we argue that the concept of “academic freedom,” while typically finding its application in protecting the research and publication interests of the professoriate, finds its true foundation in the classroom.  While tenure and other protections of academic freedom do play an important role in protecting faculty members who publish controversial papers, these protections are at their height in the classroom, protecting the rights and duties of faculty members in the process of fulfilling their professional obligations as educators.  

As we have argued above, good teaching demands effective scholarly research, both in the discipline being taught and in the pedagogic effectiveness of the teaching methods being used.  Effective teaching can, in many disciplines, lead to more fruitful avenues of research.  Resisting the term “educator” causes the individual member of the instructional staff (Lecturer, Instructor, Professor) to both undercut their performance in the classroom and to disregard the mutual dependence of teaching and scholarship. The responsibilities of faculty members, as professional educators, are the basis for those unique academic freedoms and rights that faculty enjoy.  And while rights can be waived, responsibilities cannot.  The research that is protected by the right to academic freedom is so protected so that the members of the profession of education can fulfill their responsibility to gather the knowledge and get closer to the "truth" that is their duty to teach and communicate to others. 

If faculty members refuse to acknowledge their responsibilities, or take them too lightly, they undermine the basis for the assertion of their rights, privileges and academic freedom.  These positive attributes of the role of educator exist in order to facilitate the exercise and fulfillment of the responsibilities of educators: to develop and transmit knowledge and basic intellectual skills as best they can.  Again appealing to Dewey’s conception of education as “growth,” education involves not just the intellectual growth of learners, but also the professional growth of the teachers.  Fulfilling these requirements entails continuity of growth and inquiry into becoming a better and better teacher, i.e., to teach, to teach well and to teach even better. 

This work now turns to describing the various models operative in the thinking of professional educators when they imagine their relationship to their students.  This is important because decisions are made as to how educators are to behave towards their students more often based on these models than they are based on genuine ethical principles and models based upon such principles.


@copyright 2004 by S. Kincaid and P. Pecorino

Go to next Chapter                                                                        Return to Table of Contents