Bart Nourse, film producer of Passion to Teach, shared his thoughts on the real solution to improving teaching and learning. He gives a goal to work toward i.e. steps toward making teaching a true profession.
I still believe the ‘upstream’ factors (professionalism in teaching and intrinsic motivation in learning) matter more than the ‘downstream’ stuff (testing and assessment regulations). That having professional teachers, as members of a true profession, gets and keeps the right people on the bus (Jim Collins, Built to Last; From Good to Great). Only then can the bus gather up and move students along the ways of intrinsic motivation to the destination of learning for life.
Nine elements of a true profession follow. Rather than strengthening these, we are now weakening them (i.e. most of them; some do not exist.) That will keep teaching in the U.S. “just a job.” How different from Singapore, where “teacher” means “nation builder.” How different from Finland, where teachers operate (for the most part) autonomously. The nine:
1. Specialized, prolonged education at training schools
4. Certification to practice
5. Continuing professional development
6. Full-time occupation
7. Establishment of associations: national, state, local
8. Self-regulation of occupation: powers to set the “rules”
9. Code of professional ethics