chapter  3
18 Pages

TEACHING AND PROFESSIONALISM

The main concern of this chapter is to consider the appropriateness or otherwise of regarding teaching and education as professional enterprises in the sense highlighted in Chapter 2 – a sense which does give grounds for distinguishing occupations such as medicine or law as professions from trades, manufacturing industries, mercantile enterprises, at least some kinds of vocation, and so on. It is important to emphasise here that this sense is focused upon the idea that enterprises such as medicine, law and (arguably) education are implicated in questions and considerations of a particular ethical or moral character which are not to the forefront of, for instance, plumbing, joinery, auto-repair, wholesale or retail and hairdressing,1 although they are also not well typified by the more intimate personal transactions into which individuals may enter with their religious confessors or psychotherapists (despite the fact that such relationships will also invariably exhibit clear professional dimensions). It may therefore be wise at this point to head off several possible kinds or sources of misunderstanding of this basic distinction.