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Introduction Objectives Nature of ~ e a c h i n ~ - c b n c e ~ tFramework ual 9.3.1 The Concept 9.3.2 The Definition 9.3.3 The Impact 9.3.4 Teaching as Distinguished from other Similar Concepts 9.3.5 Teaching, Education and Learning Teaching as a Profession 9.4.1 The Nature of a Profession 9.4.2 Does the Teacher belong to the Class of Professionals? Teachers in the West Unionization of the Teaching Community Information Technology and its impact on the Indian Teachers Teachers for Tomorrow - The Question of a Code of Conductf Professional Ethics Let Us Sum Up Suggested Readings



'The purpose of this unit is to introduce to you the concept and the nature of teaching, teachers and their professions- the way they evolved over a period of time until the present day. The reason why this unit has been so structured is that we cannot discuss the teaching profession in a vacuum without understanding the nature and function of teachingfirst. In the process we shall also discuss the new challenges teachers are facing today both from within and without. As we discuss the profession of teaching the question of its social status has also been touched upon. After a meaningful discussion of these concepts we shall also touch upon the phenomenon of growing militancy among this community, which has in the past been entirely free from such tensions and struggle. A comparison with their contemporaries in the UK and USA has also been attempted.



After going through this unit, you will be able to: explain the meaning and nature of teaching, explain the nature and various functions of teachers, explain recent developments in the teaching profession, appreciate changes in the functions and organization of teaching, explain the causes for growing unionization of the teaching community, explain why a code of ethics is essential for them.

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The Concept

The first concept one should understand while talking about teachers is the concept and the nature of teaching. Why does teaching depend upon teachers? Is teaching essential for learning? Who aye the teachers answerable to? Who decides the content they teach? Do all thkse functions have a bearing on the teaching profession? The answers to these questions are not very easy. Teaching, for instance, is a very complex activity. To define it in simple terms like 'eating' or 'drinking' nlay not be possible. The first problem we face in so doing is to grasp first the real meaning of the terms like 'process', 'product' etc. Is teaching a process or a product? If it is a process then the mere act of teaching in the classroom will constitute teaching. If it is a product then the cognition of a subject both by the teacher and the taught will be called teaching. Is teaching then an activity of a teacher in the classroom or the reception of a piece of knowledge / or the act of cognition of a certain amount of knowledge by the students communicated through a process called "teaching"? Is teaching to be identified with students' learning either in the class or thereafter? Just as it takes a long time for a teacher to prepare himself/herself to be able to deliver a lesson in the class - be it face-to-face mode or in a virtual situation, it takes a long while for a student to understand the communicated material / content. The question therefore is: What do we call this gestation period (i.e. the time a teacher takes in preparation before the actual delivery of a lesson and the time that a student takes in its coaition) on the part of both the teacher and the student? Does teaching include the preparation also either for communication or cognition? If these questions were easy to answer one could attempt the same straight away. Here is yet another dimension of the same problem. Donna H. Kerr tried to answer this question in her own way. She said, "But in the cases where the ordinary day-to-day environment does not itself offer conditions ripe for particular 'trial and error' learnings we some times resort to the creation of environment or opportunities for particular experiences that foster specific learnings - environments such as rooms with pieces of pianos, sheer music, and opportunities for and expectations of particular kinds of repetition and the like. That is, we resort to teaching." Here she has tried to say that teaching cannot be transacted without an environment but this sort of arrangement or creation of environment by itself is not teaching. Apparently, it means teaching is a well-designed, extra effort on the part of a teacher to communicate something in a manner that is helpful in its cognition. It also means that wdat we define as gestation, a period of mental preparation both from the side of the teacher and the learner are all part of the activity called teaching. In brief, it is both a process and a product. It is a kind of chain starting with preparation, selection of environment, presence ok specific learning material, an extra effort on the part of both the student and the teacher to learn / teach what is taught and much-more, which when put altogether, is the process that leads to the consequence aonstituting the act of 'teaching.' This linear activity, as it were, in itself is not free from complications.

9.3.2 The Definition

Despite all this, why do only some fare better than all others either in teaching or learning? Where lies the problem? A few answers attempted on the basis of psychological findings lie embedded either in the genes or environment. Like 'love' and 'hate' 'teaching' remains both complex and abstract. One could experience a part of the function of the teaching process or its product but not the whole of it in its entirety. It is possible to say that teaching of History or Political Science as a subject could vary in numerous ways depending dpon the competence, ideology or the degree of the level or preparation of the content of the subject matter but will teaching of Arithmetic also vary for the same reasons? Take the best schools of both - the USA and Russia where would you like to locate differences in the teaching of Mathematics? Also, correlate certain known variables in this examination. Try answering this question and you will find that you are close to finding a solution to the problem. Take yet another example. We find that a teacher is taking a class and each individual student is trying to understand the same content. These attempts will vary in a number of ways. If you doubt this statement then try putting another question. The responses will reveal that all students are not following the attempt of the teacher in equal or identical manner. Whereas a few students might respond correctly, others could either please or disappoint the teacher. Why does this happen when the teacher is objective, equidistant from all, and is audible all over the classroom? Is it the case of lack of attention on the part of the student or the failure of the teacher in communication? Re it one or the other, in all such cases the teacher teaches irrespective of the attention students pay or because they have certain inherent ability 1 aptitude. In such cases it would look as though teaching does not function independently of student cognition. The fact is, it is not so. Teaching can take place without it having any impact. But to be able to pinpoint precisely the lacuna in the process or the product is never very easy. This is what makes the definition of teaching very difficult.

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9.3.3 The Impact

Whether or not we should be taught at all also deserves an answer. Given the simple maturation of an individual, one's inherent abilities to learn life-skills from experience and being equipped with the intelligence to derive conclusions from 'trial and error' method why must an individual face a formal / virtual class? The answer lies in the value of education per se. Education leads to societal advancement and makes an individual pick and choose how, why and what to learn. Learning to learn is the principal function and the purpose of teaching. The moment we reach the stage when we must clearly state why must we teach anyone or at all, we enter the domain of pure philosophy. The aims and purposes of education appear to become co-terminus with the purposes of life itself. If education is a support system for achieving goals of life the extent to which an individual is able to define these purposes well will determine the selection of the mode and content of education / teaching. For instance, for one who wishes to become a priest the choice open for that individual is to go to a priest of a certain order to get ordained. A person aspiring to become a successful businessman will like to select an institute that answers his purposes. In each individual case the type of content and method of teaching

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shall be radically different. Whereas for a prospective priest the teaching (preaching) will get concentrated on and around scriptures, for a business apprentice the same will revolve round tricks of the trade and the ways of judging market pperations during the course of which it is quite probable that even the nature and typology of cheating may form a part of the curricula. In other words, teaching per se is dependent on numerous factors - all of which are not possibleieither to record or predict.

Teaching as Distinguished from other Similar Concepts

There are number of words that are usually used as synonyms for teaching. Some of these words 1 terms are initiation, indoctrination, propaganda, etc. While the resulpl consequences of their application in reality are identical, yet 4 each of these terms has a distinctly different objective, 'connotation, the manner and intentions behind its application are also identifiable distinctly. , "Teaching" as distinguished from terms like "instruction", "initiation", "indoctrination", etc. lends itself to the possibility of being conceived as independent and distinct from the process and a consequence of "learning". In itself this statepent questions the validity of interchanging "teaching" with "instruction" or "indoctrination" for the simple reason that "teaching" in this context has a built-in bias of incorporating within itself "purposes" purportedly added to it by society as a whole or a group of indiyiduals. In other words, the moment teachipg takes on the shape of 'indoctrination', it gets vitiated by an external agent (otherwise not included in the process of teaching). The major problem, therefore, constitutes in developing a theory of teaching, which could easily be discernible to those who have something to do with it.

D.J. 0 ' ~ o n n o rraises the point of usefulness of a theory in the field of education: "Bdt since education is not (and is not claimed to be) an exact science and dotes not even rely to any large extent upon the findings of such sciences, the word 'theory' is used in educational context in a derivative and weakened sense." Even so, it is not futile to discuss the word "theory" in the context of education. Taking the cue from natural sciences where the word "theory" is useld without any ambiguity we talk of theory as: (a) a hypothesis that has been verified by observation and, more commonly, (b) as a logically inter-connected set of such confirmed hypotheses.
Accepting this as the basis for proceeding without examination and formulation of a theory of "teaching", we may at first try to clear the ground by defining the distinction 'teaching' has from words like instruction or initiation or iqdoctrination, etc. As already suglgested instruction or initiation, etc. have a built-in purpose. One cannot think gf instructing another unless one has: (a) a definite body of knowledge an4 (b) a strong reason for handing over this body of knowledge to another. In thq case of initiation besides these two grounds, i.e. (a) and (b), some kind of perpetuation of values also appears to be involved. We could examine these words by citing two examples. For instance, a teacher instructs a child in the English language. There is thus a definite body of knowledge, i.e. English lanwge. The strong reason or reasons to impart this instruction may be that: (a) Epglish has a market value, (b) English holds the key to a vast ocean of knowledge, (c) it is the language of our former rulers and wields a

charm of its own, (d) it .helps us remain internationally aware and alert, etc. This sort of instruction could go on from generation to generation or terminate immediately after the first pupil or batch of pupils has acquired command over it. In the case of 'initiation' the process must go on because it implies inheriting a value system besides a body of knowledge. One is 'initiated' into a profession which has a code of conduct of its own. Therefore, unlike "instruction" which may or may not lead to this sort of a continuous process called 'initiation', the latter cannot be imagined without a continuous process. If this "initiation" could be an initiation into the mystery of a honourable profession, it could equally be true of beggary, prostitution or thieving, etc. The word "indoctrination" has generally been used to connote additionally certain political overtones. It does for that matter cover by implication that meaning which the words "instruction" and "initiation" cany within themselves. In all these terms a common link that runs through is that of "authority". One has to have an authority to instruct, initiate or even indoctrinate. It is quite irrelevant to say that the source of authority must always be external. In numerous cases indoctrination has the genesis in an individual "will". Authorization for the exercise of this "will" is a matter of time when the followers of that leader refuse to permit others to exercise their right to political choice. The major difficulty in defining the term "teaching" and its parameters is that, it has hardly, if ever, been thought of without "learning". Not much work has been done in the West on its definition and none at all in India. Teaching seemingly overlaps several other concepts of the same genus with minor variations in their actual end products. At one place P.H. Hirst and R.S. Peters come quite close to the stand I should like to take.

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9.3.5 Teaching, Bducation and Learning Usually educationbl processes involve not only 'learning' but 'teaching' as well. There is, hohever, no logical connection in this case. Education can go . on without any t ~ c h i n gWe can say it was 'real education' for someone to take a boat out on his own implying that he learnt something desirable without anybody having been there to forcibly impart a lesson. There are many forms of learning that go on without teaching, and 'educative' learning does not imply the additional criterion that the learning must take place in a teaching situation. It may be a general empirical fact that most things are learnt more rapidly and more reliably if a teacher explicitly structures the situation. But it certainly is not ia conceptual truth that either 'learning' or 'education ' implies 'teachingr (Emphasis added). This only means that teachers are needed only for teaching bhat the society wants them to teach. A teacher is dependent on the society for his appointment, must teach only what the society has permitted him to teach and function within a framework provided to undertake that function. We should not farget the first characteristic, which is that while "learning" is logically necessaky for "education". "teaching" is not. And while trying to answer the poser: What characterizes teaching and how are we to distinguish it from other activilties? They say: "Tt implies that the teacher intends to bring about learning. This necessity for teaching activities indicate or express to some extent, thalt pupils are intended to learn, serves to distinguish clearly those activities which are essentially teaching, from many which are not, however valuabjle they may be in the circumstances." The second characteristic of teaching would, therefore, be that at least in terms of intention it has its end product as learning. Indeed, one of the major goals of education, which in several respects has been identified with "teaching ", is to see that character traits are internalized (as also) social rules such as honesty, punctuality, truthfulness, etc. The third characteristic, which comes up for consideration, is that teaching seeks to fill up a kind of void or perhaps meets a socially created need. Teaching may thus seek its goal somewhere outside its own process or activity identified as teaching. The quality and content of teaching would, however, depend on the method one follows - Plato's or Locke's. For Plbto one had to try to discover or unfold what was basically within, or as Locke held one had to add something that did not exist. True, in both cases the quality and processes of teaching would differ radically, but whatever happens either way it does add to the dimension of teaching. Teaching has, however, to serve as an instrument for a specific object. The object in the ptesent case being the meeting of a social requirement or a personal need. $rom which ever point of view we consider "teaching", for the person being tdught, it might as well appear as though one were to inquire about the truth or be on a quest for further awareness about the nature of reality. It looks as though the student has certain queries and the teacher has to answer these. Of course, this sort of awareness in the student presupposes the identification of problems by the student. In reality nothing of the sort ever happens. In a formal school set-up the student does not put questions until helshe has reached a certain age. Answers to hisher possible questions are generally anticipated and replied. No one ever takes himther (the student) into confidence before the act of teaching, except while as a child helshe is at home where his parents and siblings attempt giving replies to hisher endless queries. Born into an unknown world the child is helpless. Helshe has to be taught

everything - ablutions, bowel-movements, food habits and gradually about the members of hislher household. The fact that the child is curious and wishes to be helped in everything helshe does, the need of a teacher whether of mother or father or siblings or peers, etc., is for survival - both physical and social. The structure of teaching, therefore, requires that irrespective of the form its base constitutes certain social obligations vis-a-vis a motivated, inquisitive mind must pre-exist. It is here that we see certain subtle forms of teaching operations. We find the child at this age is being initiated, instructed, indoctrinated, etc., (all at once) as helshe is gradually growing into a socially acceptable person. For example, helshe is being initiated into certain family "mores". Helshe is taught to recognize persons and exhibit varying degrees of familiarity. Hislher ablutions and bowel-movements and food habits and dress, etc. fall under the category of instruction. As the child grows up a little more and is ready for movement in social circles helshe is given a set of rules. These sets of rules are covered by the term "indoctrination". A child is warned not to mix with certain groups of children, or for instance, not to discuss internal matters concerning one's household. To be able to move about in an unknown world the child is protected by the shield of "do's" and "don'ts". The entire social fabric would crumble down if all the children started behaving the way they liked. The most well behaved child is regarded as a very well brought-up person. But the reality is that helshe has succumbed to certain tricks played by hislher family on himlher. True, helshe has thereby earned the "goodwill" of hislher family and approval of the society in which helshe lives but at the same time helshe also betrays the deep impression of the social or family indoctrination. When the society starts indoctrinating on given points, it indulges in propaganda. Schools through their regular courses of study attach values to national behavior. Such and such social system stands approved or disapproved with a bias in logic in its favour or disfavour. On a national scale, for example, the USA condemned once the political set-up in the USSR. People in the USSR held that they had a democracy in their country. As a people, therefore, they had come to agree with whatever they had been taught through their social system or political institutions. This means the logic advanced in favour of their institutions and disfavouriilg that of others has by itself been such that a child grown into an adult has no rationality left in himlher to question what helshe has been taught or made to believe. It also means that besides the arguments for or against a certain system, the propaganda undertaken in the classroon7 is the most well organized and sustained, resulting in the dulling of one's rational bases of independent thinking. We come across a major difficulty in regarding 'teaching' as one trying to meet a socially created need. Depending on the nature of society even indoctrination could pass as a socially created need. Teaching apparently does serve a useful purpose but this "use" is something one cannot anticipate and define. The quality and content of teaching could thus be determined by its end-result. Teaching, for instance, aims at transmitting a value system very close to helping maintain the status quo. The skills and the media of communication offered as "teaching" could never hope to be so revolutionary as may lead one to subvert the social order. "Teaching" in this sense when offered through socially acceptable institutions would always be "conformist". What may interest us most is the implied hierarchy of values attached to each of these terms. Surely the value-attachment is relative and in another set-

The Teaching Profession

Professional Excellence of Teachers

up all this defining may turn out to be a hitless endeavor. For example, to a tribal inhabiting a dense forest all these concepts may appear irrelevant. What Peters regards as degeneration, viz. "indoctrination" may itself be the only meaningful term f ~ ar tribal. Questioning of authority or probing deep into some problem-area anticipates alternatives. For example, if the authority of the word of a priest is questioned, something quite common in modem urban world, there is another authority ready to take on that mantle.


The Nature of a Profession

Teaching today is very vaguely called a profession. Few support the view that in reality as well ttaching is a profession. Let us therefore first define the term "profession' and examine in detail its nature. Teachers existed in the ancient and medieval times too. But were they professionals? Respect for a certain class / cadre does not automatically qualify anyone to be called a professional. Almost globally teachers in the beginning were all priests. This remained true not only for the ancient times but the practice of the priests monopolizing teaching continuad until Renaissance when secular knowledge made inroads into the religious curricula. The respect that the priests commanded did not emanate from their professionalism / mastery of the subject or a superior delivery of the content but from the priest's point of view these secular functions were a kind of add on. The new discoveries in science and technology eventually led to the development of a system of education, which the priests found was way beyond their control. Not only Galileo but even centuries later,alao persons like Bertrand Russell had to face social ire because what was accepthle to Russell was unacceptable to the majority of Britons. We will now take up the definition of a profession first. Professor Bernard Barber of Columbia University holds that although no boundary exists between a 'professional' and'non-professional' classes, "a debate is kept on going by the fact that these terms carry an important assignment of differential occupationa1,prestige." He goes on to affirm that there are "no absolute differences'' beween them but only "relative differences" and disregards concepts like style of life, corporate solidarity and socialized structures and processes, etc., as the differentia specifica of professional conduct. The major author on the nature and organization of professions, A.M. CarrSaunders, says: "A little reflection shows that what we now call a profession emerges when ar number of persons are found upon a specialized training. A profession may perhaps be defined as an occupation based upon specialized intellectual stu4y and training, the purpose of which is to supply skilled service and to adbise othersfor a definitefee or salary." Payment of a fee or a salary is not the only attribute of a profession. This is in fact common to the non-professionals, daily wagers and casual employees too, who have no identifiable skills. Some degree of "intellectual" study and training is involved in some othl=roccupations too, such as, nursing, computer tyding, etc. But no one calls nursing a profession in the same sense as a doctor, lawyer or a judge would be addressed. Consequently, the qualifying word

"specialized" as a precondition to the intellectual study and training marks the distinctive characteristic of a profession. We shall come back to the term "specialized" after we have discussed other criteria laid down to distinguish professions from mere occupations. According to Alexander Flexner there are six criteria, which distinguish professions fiom mere occupations. The last two were added by Liberman to complete the list. A profession is one that meets these following criteria: (i) It involves essentially intellectual operations.

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(ii) It derives their raw materials from science and learning. (iii) It works up this material to a practical and,definite end.. (iv) It possesses an educationally communicable technique. (v) It tends toward self-organization. (vi) They are becoming increasingly altruistic in nature. (vii) A broad range of autonomy for both the individual practitioners and for the occupational group as a whole. (viii) An acceptance by the practitioners of broad personal responsibility for judgements made and acts performed within the scope of professional autonomy. In other words 'auto-censor'. We feel that these eight criteria fall short of the exact requirements. Indeed, except for the first and the last all other criteria apply in equal measure to inferior occupations too, such as, minor mechanical trades, and even cobbling. In separate independent Indian studies also all these points have been examined very minutely. They unfortunately negate overwhelmingly the criteria advanced above. The dissenters include The Indian Education Commission headed by Professor D.S. Kothari. In a technology dominated world ever newer occupations are getting added to the existing list of professionals. For instance, people call Computer trained persons 'professionals'. Perhaps the reason for doing so lies in their high incomes. The idea is that newer vocations are getting added to the old list of the professionals for the prestige they have come to acquire because of the incomes that go with them. The imperceptible and surreptitious,moves being made by newer avocations are making the laying down of any type of criteria for adjudgingprofessions extremely hazardous. If however the criteria must be laid down then the best way to do so is to apply the following conditions: (i) The theoretical preparation based on principles of job-analysis with a broad cultural base, as against the narrow vocational training. Here the distinction, which separates technological education, is applicable. This criterion is the same, which Professor Carr- Saunders and Alexander Flexner had once stressed upon. (ii) The willing application of the knowledge thus acquired for the purpose of serving the community and fiom which higher rewards accrue as a byproduct. This criterion excludes minor occupations because although service is the primary motive in their case as well, the rewards vary according to the place of work and the precise nature of employment.

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(iii) They have a zealous body or bodies of organizations, which lay down certain ethicail norms to be observed by all members of that particular class/commurbity. This incorporates broadly the last criterion added to the list of Flexner by Liberman. There is however one crucial difference between Liber~nan'scriterion and that of the author. Whereas Liberman does not include the code of professional conduct / professional behavior and exclusive right of a professional body to admit or reject a certain individual cm the strength of his qualifications or misdemeanor respectively in his criterion, the author does. We also have the lfollowing four criteria suggested by Professor Barber: (i) A high degree of generalized and systematic knowledge. (ii) Primary orientation to the community interest rather than to the individual self-interest. (iii) A high degree of self-control of behavior through a codes of conduct / ethics internalized in the process of work specialization and through voluntary adsociations organized and operated by the work specialists themselves. (iv) A system of' rewards (monetary and honorary) that is primarily a set of symbols of work achievement and thus an end in itself and not a means to some end of individual self-interest. The above criteria only tend to reinforce the ones the author has suggested. Barber gives, as an illustration is both relevant and The example ~r'bfessor interesting. "These four essential attributes define a scale of professionalism, a way of measuring the extent to which it is present in different forms of occupational petformance. The most professional behaviour would be that which realized all the four attributes in the fullest possible manner. A Justice of the US Suprema Court, or professor of physics and a Nobel Prize winner in a distinguished university, would be defined as very professional roles. A $10,000-a-year vice-president of a middle-size business organization would be clearly less professional in these terms. And a $6,000-a-year school teacher would be ranked as less professional still". We must remeniber that a teacher is fundamentally a thinking being. But when he/she does not face either a challenge in thinking or work, hidher faculties are dulled. Separattd from the- present day baneful influence of university academia and allowed to flower in his/her own area of work, a teacher could compete and cdmpare with anyone with whom he/she currently hesitates to mix. A teacher is not to be overawed by the presence of 'superior beings' into some kind of cderced behavior or conduct; instead he/she must be encouraged to recognize hidher own moorings.
9.4.2 Does thk Teacher belong to the Class of the Professionals?


It is doubtful whether anyone in this country accepts school teachers as professionals. Whether quasi or none whatever, the teacher in India is much less than a prdfessional. Before we undertake a critical analysis of teacher education in India, we should remember that M. Liberman had found teaching a quasi-profession (Kuvernab 1956). In terms of rank order, Hoyle discovered it to be much lower than a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer, and specially a

primary teacher was found to rank 19 on a 25-point occupational scale (Bernbaum, Noble and Whiteside); Singh (1969), however, finds that teaching as a profession does not meet the criteria to be legitimately called a profession. With such a background it becomes even more interesting to record why initially the East India Company in India opened Normal Schools. The third report of Adam thus records the objectives: "the old race of school masters will thus gradually pass away and be succeeded by a race trained from the beginning under the operation of a new system.... The general effect of this training upon the face of society, if steadily pursued, will be to increase intelligence, enterprise, and morality; to make the people be'ter acquainted with their own interests and with the legitimate means of protecting and promoting them; and I confidently believe and hope, to attach them by gratitude and affection to the European rulers o f the country as their real friends and benefactors" (Singh 1969: 181) He further recorded: "We are among the people but not of them ... The consequence is that we have no hold on their sympathies, no seat in their affections" (Sidgh 1969: 237). His perception of the Indians, shared by the majority, was: "The truth appears to be that they are so completely bowed down by ages of foreign rule that they have lost not only the capacity and the desire, but the very idea, of self-government in matters regarding which the authority of the state is directly or indirectly interposed" (Singh 1969: 133). Under the circumstances it would be unacceptable to call school teachers as professionuls. In this instance it is not the quantum of less knowledge that is responsible for the non-inclusion of schoolteachers in the category but despite all the recent upward changes in their salary scales these teachers remain at the lower rungs of the economic ladder. If the type of training offered to them is responsible for this kind of rating, there are other reasons also. They have apparently no code of conduct of their own. There is no single body of teacher organization that could take up the cause of their academic stature in the forum where things are decided.

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Notes: a ) M'rite your answers in tlie space given below.


Compare your answers with those given in the text.

I . What is difference between 'vocations' and 'professions"?

2. How do Libernla11 and Carr Saunders define the term 'professioli'? Write down tlie difference betweeii tlic two.


3 . llow does Adani define teacher training i n his third report?

Write down the p~u-pose teacher training in Intlia as Adam of visualized.

I'rofessional Excellence of 'Teachers



We may compare the Indian scenario in this regard with that of the one that obtains in the USA or LJK. While the two scenarios are not comparable one could contrast them if one liked. The reason is simple. The discussion on this point whether or not teachers are professionals has as yet not been resolved anywhere. In the Western world this matter stands where it was in the last couple of centuries. In a recent Report submitted (9119102) by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future titled What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future disclosed that 50,000 people who lack the training for the job enter the teaching profession annually. If this term 'profession' has been used here it also says elsewhere in the same report "Teaching is the dssential profession, the one that makes all other professions possible. Without well-qualified, caring, and committed teachers, neither improved curricula and assessments, nor safe schools - not even the highest standards in the world will ensure that our children are prepared for the challenges and opportunities in America's third century." "President Bill Clinton had to say this in September 1998 "Every child needs -and deserves dedicated, outstanding teachers who know their subject matter, are effectively trained, and know how to teach to high standards and to make learning come alive for students." Let us cite some more references on the subject before we analyze its content. In 1986, a landmark report issued by a task force of the Carnegie Corporation of New York called for radical changes in teaching to make it a true profession. The authors envisioned a different kind of teacher -flexible, up-todate, able to lead khildren into deeper learning. The next step was for teachers to be mentors and coaches rather than dispensers of facts. Students would take the responsibility for their own education, and teachers would collaborate with them in a search for knowledge and understanding. The school structure would change so that teachers would be deeply involved in decision-making: within a broad curricular framework, teachers would decide how best to meet their goals. Since the Carnegie report, there has been slow and steady work on a variety of fronts to improve the quality of the nation's teaching force. A consortium of 38 states is working together to devise new, rigorous standards for beginning teachers and to come up with new ways of measuring whether candidates deserve a license to teach. This is in sharp contrast to the current system, which focuses on what course work candidates have completed--a piece of information, which tells little about their ultimate performance with students. The national organization that accredits education schools has stiffened its standards and is pressing programs to submit themselves to scrutiny. And the National Board for Teaching Standards, an outgrowth of the Carnegie report, has begun setting standards of accomplished practice and certifying expert teachers who can meet them. Studies have since been conducted to find ways to overhaul the system, A major report in September 2002 by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future offered a scathing indictment of current practices, including inadequate teacher education, bureaucratic hiring procedures, and

the placenzent of unqualified teachers in classrooms. In Issue 2 of ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research) dated July 2002 a comparison of recent refonns in the UK and the USA has appeared. In brief, in the case of UK the focus of reforms is on a comprehensive government 'performance management' system for the teaching profession in England and Wales introduced in 2000. In the USA, the focus will be on 'prqfessional certzfication': an emerging system for giving recognition to 'accomplished teachers' provided by an independent body, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Both reforms aim to improve the attractiveness of teaching as a career and to provide teachers with greater rewards for evidence of professional development.

The Teaching Profession


What is to be noticed with regret is that while the world is changing and improving constantly through their investments in the classrooms and teachers, and converting knowledge into an industry, we continue to languish in the dark for some one to show us. some day the way to improve things. Teaching has thus far not become a profession for reasons implicit in the above discussion of the reports. It continues to admit among their ranks untrained and ill trained personnel. It expects no commitment to the job they undertake. Like the casual employees they are still fighting for their improved conditions of work. They have no single professional body to oversee their conduct and their peers cannot disqualify them on any ethical grounds. These then are the major reasons why teaching in India is not a profession and neither is it anywhere in the world. In the West things are moving fast to make them qualify for that status but we have as yet to make a beginning somewhere some day. India must develop a professional certification system (apart from the training degree and a brief interview by prospective employers) as part of a broad reform strategy for the collective advancement of the profession, one that does not rely primarily on government action or the imperfect working of the market. The only way out is to have an independent body of professional workers that could test "effectiveness" among teachers. Here is the conclusion of an Australian study on the subject: "What is clearer now is the necessary relationship between the development of more effective systems for teacher evaluation and professional development based on profession-defined standards."





Teachers the world over are highly unionized. The reports just cited from the USA also say, "Teaching is one of the country's most unionized occupations". The National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers' union, boasts of 2.2 million membership. Its rival the American Federation of Teachers has 9 lakh members. Compared to this the scene in the UK is not much different. They also have the National Union of Teachers (NUT) - a hard nut to crack. There is yet another teacher union equally strong. In France and elsewhere in Europe things are not much different. The only major distinction between the teacher unions in India and abroad is that they perform academic functions too and keep their members well posted about the latest developments in different curricular areas. In India we have no union that has a large membership not even of a couple of thousand, nor is there any union or

Professional Excellence of Teachers

Association that brings out academic volumes of the level that NEA does annually. + Even teacher wions in the universities play no positive role. At least none is known to go beyond organizing strikes. They demand higher pay packets and better conditions of work without any corresponding obligation to perform academically. Teachers in Indian universities are not known for either excellence or innovations, except for a handful of them few know their subjects well aqd undertake research. The results are known for all to need any comment. Read this from a government report of the USA. "A group af union organizations fs meeting regularly to discuss the future of teacher unions, with an eye toward school quality rather than employee protection and benefits. " One hopes something of this sort could be written about India's unions too.



Information technology is the current rage across the globe. India has also made its entry into this area with a bang. The number of Indian schools that have started classes in computer education is insignificant. The reason for India not bein$ able to introduce computer education is well known. Poverty and the non-avbilability of electricity in non-urban areas is the principal cause. But the so-called cow-belt 1 Hindi speaking states are unable to provide an uninterrupted $upply of electricity even to their urban centers. Indians are capable of becoming world leaders in any area where they are given an opportunity to compete. Misfortune of the country is that a sizeable section of politicians directly or undirectly interfere with the functioning of educational institutions. They, in order to serve their political or even personal ends, promote the ektra-academic interests of teachers, and thus involve them in political activities for fulfilling their (politicians) motives and purposes. Such indulgence of some teachers in politics for seeking due favours vitiates the academic environment of schools, colleges and universities by politicizing the same on one hand, and on the other the really honest, capable, sincere and committed teachers get depressed, frustrated, and even agitated, for their legitimate interests which are being denied to them. Because of such a scenario which is existent in the country in great measure the teaching community as a whole is rapidly losing the credibility, grace and the social respectability which it had in the pakt. The "guru" has just become a servant of the state, like a clerk or an office superintendent. Such a mentality if allowed to continue to develop in this intelleatually elite section of the society, will leave no hope for our children to develop in the right-direction. We are afraid, we will then produce only learned monsters, skilled psychopaths or educated "Eichmans", but never good human beings. Regarding the use of educational technology or information technology the fact remains that though India-to-day is reckoned to be one of the pioneer countries in thd field, yet the truth is that the digital divide is widening between the rural and the urban. Moreover, although a few states in the country have remarkable achievements, the rest of the states lag far behind in ET and IT. Most of the Irrdim states are likely to remain technologically backward. It is not likely that the nation as a whole will one day become advanced, T i hs

impact is therefore going to further fracture the teaching community on the basis of region or to the state one belongs. Whereas a few among the teaching community will join world rank, the majority will languish in darkness for want of facility, incentive and technological awareness. The other danger is that since teachers are a conservative lot they have themselves not thought thus far of the impact of technology on their effectiveness as teachers. The teachers will one day realize to their utter consternation that the challenge to their status is likely to come from Internet teaching and the virtual classrooms. The current mode of face-to-face teaching is going to become outdated. The new class of teachers will belong to a category of scholars - something about whose abilities it is not possible to predict. In brief, it is possible to predict that the personal interaction with students will soon become a thing of the past. Secondly, the competition among teachers will become intense and the level of teaching a commercial enterprise. Thirdly, those who wish to survive on some piece of antiquated information will soon be shown the door. It will become possible to have universities and colleges, students and libraries etc. without any given space, location or inconvenience. Updating of information will help develop an intellectual society - whose contours are very vaguely definable.

The Teachlng Professlon



We have already seen how technology in education is going to enter the field of teaching in a big way. We have also talked of the possibilities that are likely to have an impact on teachers and teaching. Currently, the problem is to evolve i) the kind ,of Professional Ethics teachers must follow, ii) to evolve mechanisms to oversee its implementation and iii) to observe and penalize the truants in the system. These then are some of the questions that bother almost all of us but there is no consensuq on any thing. The teachers have to be accountable to the society that feed2 and sustains them. The ultimate voice is that of the society and not of the teacher. The employer knows the best. Tfiose that serve must learn to perform. It will be advisable to follow the existing rules of conduct or evolve their own and create a mechanism to regulate their own behavior and conduct. Privatization, vocationalisation and the substitution of face-to-face teaching with' virtual classrooms etc, are some of the dimensions the education system ic-likely to grow into. All of these have their implications. The teacher must learn to decipher the message. In pursuance of the recommendations of National Policy on Education (NPE) (1986), the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), evolved a code of professional ethics for teachers in 1997 with the help of All India Federations of Primary and Secondary School Teachers. The code comprises thirty articles relating to teachers' obligations towards students, parents, the community, profession or professional organisations. These organisations have yet to evolve mechanisms for observance of such a code.

Profeulonal Excelknce of Teachers

Check Your Progress 3

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Notes: a) Write your answers in the space given,below.

b) Compare your answers with those given in thc te..c:.

1. What are the characteristics of a profcssioil'? \Vhy does teaching not qualify to be a profession in I~sdia?

2. How is technology going ro in~pact tcacliing'? Lliscuss

3. What kind of future do you sec for thc teaclicr !teacling?



In the present unit we have attempted to discuss the concept of teaching and also tied to distkguish it from other similar concepts, the end-result of which is also learning. if indoctrination1 propaganda is political in essence, initiation is either concerned with societal mores or some kind of ritualistic behavior.
The only term that has modern secular connotation and for which the norms are fixed by some governmental agency is teaching. Unfortunately, it has as yet to be decided whether it is a process or the product Although all societies expect teachers to adopt certain codes of conduct and start regulating their own classroom behaviour and thereby become socially dccountable, few teachers or even fewer teacher organizations have thus far come forward to oblige. Judged against the stancbrd definition of 'profession' teaching as a profession fails to measure up to it.
The future holds out a challenge for teachers in the form of technology. 'Virtual' classrooms and 'virtual' institutions might as well become a potential threat to their survival in the present day form. One could only hope that teachers are aware of this reality and will be able to meet all challenges squarely. Their professional organizations have to play a crucial role.


1. Archarnbault, R.D., (1965): Philosophical Analysis and Education. R.K.P.,


2. Bennet, Neville, (1976): Teaching Styles and Pupil Progress. Open Books,

3. Bijalwan, C.D.M., (1977): Indian Theory of Knowledge. Heritage


Publishers, New Delhi. 4. Chisholm, Frederick M., (1977): Theory of Knowledge. Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi.
5. Dearden, R.F., Hirst, P.H., Peters, R.S., (Editors) (1952): A Critique of Current Educational Aims. R.K.P., London.
6 . Dearden, R.F., Hirst, P.H., Peters, R.S., (Editors) (1972): Reason. R.K.P., London.

7. Hirst, P.H., Peters, R.S., (1974): The Logic of Education. R.K.P., London.


8. Hoyle, E., The Professionalisation of Teachers: A Paradox. British Journal of Educational Studies, 30(2) 161- 171.

9. Kant. I., (1960): Education. Ann Arbor Paperbacks, L.A. 10. Liberman, M., (1965): Education as a Profession. Prentice Hall, New Jersey. 11. Maitra, S.K., (1962): The Main Problems of Philosophy. Progressive Publishers, Calcutta. 12. Nyberg, D., (Ed.) (1975): The Philosophy of Open Education. R.K.P., London.


13. Radhakrishnan, S., (1978): True Knowledge. Orient Paperbacks, New Delhi. 14. Scheffler, Israel Conditions of Knowledge. Scott, Foresman Company, Illinois.


15. Singh, R.P., (1969): The Indian Teacher. National Publishing House, New Delhi. 2, 16. Singh, R.P., (Ed.) (1 997): Training of Teachers - Looking Ahead. Nceta, New Delhi.