To Be or Not to Be Professional: The Case for Higher Education Teaching as an Occupation
This contribution critiques the idea of the academic as a professional if defined as bound by professional rule developed to reinforce power and structure of the profession. It does not suggest that there’s a problem per se with putting academic life and professionalism together. Rather, the problem arises from contemporary conceptions of professionalism being inappropriately applied. It argues that professionalism has changed from depicting autonomous self-monitoring groupings to rule-bound groups, serving the interests of external “stakeholders.” The professionalism of the profession is being critiqued as a thin form of professionalism of practice.
As Kanes (2010) suggests, there is a difference between the activities of the professional who discharges her role within the profession through adequate capacities and competences for successful exercise of an occupation outside the authority that a profession can confer. Simply put one can show professionalism in what one...
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