Cpd Theory and Practice

Role of the Teacher

In 1944 the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (3rd edition) defined a profession as ‘A

vocation in which a professed knowledge of some department of learning is used in its

application to the affairs of others or in the practice of an art founded upon it, Applied

spec to the three learned professions of divinity, law and medicine; also to the military

profession.’ (www.dg.dial.pipex : no date ). Teaching was not mentioned as

teachers were not seen as professionals.   Which begs the question why?   A teacher has

stereotypically been defined as a cane wielding, glasses and suit wearing individual

whose word was law and certainly did not believe in sparing the rod.   However, the role

of a teacher has changed significantly throughout the years leaning more towards a

facilitator than a disciplinarian, an individual who sees their position within an

educational organisation as an important part in the molding of learner’s minds with the

view of aiding them in achieving their goals.

The Education Acts in 1902 and 1944 saw the government addressing the issue of

teaching with them trying to re-build schools with scarce resources and staff.   “Teacher

professionalism and public service were closely entwined and symbiotically related…

This gradual correlation between professionalism, a mass schooling welfare and

reconstructionist ideaologies and the making of a democratic society acknowledged the

crucial position of teachers as heroes of reconstruction as pedagogic innovators, as carers,

as partners of and within the public,…It is this association with the emerging welfare

services which probably affected teachers’ work the most, not only worth its prevailing

sense of public service… but with an emphasis on universalism and equality of

opportunity.’   (Lawn 1999).   However with such publications as the Lockwood report,

the 1967 Plowden report and the 1976 Bennett’s Black paper things began to...