Impressions of Teaching As a Profession and Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Impressions of Teaching as a Profession and the Reality

The teaching profession is one of the oldest ones and has experienced growth over the years as a result of its dynamic nature of the teacher's role in the education system. Teachers are assuming new dimensions as the ways by which children learn change in addition to changes in the general learning environment. The early impression of the teaching profession is that it was simply involved in imparting knowledge on the students. This was done with very little consideration of the student's academic capability or needs. Over the years, this has been evaluated to be ineffective and it has caused many children to drop out from school as a result of them finding school to be difficult as well as others who feel alienated in school. Other negative effects that have been reported include antisocial behavior as a result of the students not being given the attention they require. There have also been increased incidents of violence in school as well as other behaviors such as aggression and bullying. This led to the change of the teaching profession to incorporate ways of including children in the learning process and providing solutions that are customized to each child. This leads to increased development of pro-social behavior as well as helping students get wholesome education unlike solely academic knowledge which was imparted in the earlier impression.

Earlier impressions

Teachers often assume that the classroom is made up of students with equal learning capabilities and that each classroom is the same. These are some of the false assumptions identified by Barr (1945)

. It is argued that this assumption arises from teachers having difficulty translating what they learn theoretically to the practical environment. This sentiment is echoed in McAlpine, Weston, Berthiaume, and Fairbank-Roch (2006)

who states that teachers are often undertrained for the demand that their work has. They do not have practical experience in teaching and often find teaching to be an extremely challenging profession. Hourcade and Bauwens (2001)

identified that personal causes are the main contributors to these assumptions. These personal causes include lack of the proper attitude, inappropriate career choice and lack of suitable personal characteristics. There are also situational causes such as loneliness in the teaching environment, difficulty relating to parents and students, huge workloads and inadequate training. Brouwer and Korthagen (2005)

also states that teachers often need to come off as confident and competent which often leads them to a dilemma when they are faced with the challenges of the teaching environment.

Heafford (1962)

argues that these initial impressions are formed when the teacher is a student. This is a phenomenon that is referred to as the 'apprenticeship of observation'. Simply put, it is how each student sees and admires the teacher as a knowledgeable person who makes a great impact on the lives of the students. Without the teacher, the students cannot in most cases learn. This leads the students to admire the profession and prefer it without assessing their capabilities to succeed as teachers. They also do not consider the practical nature of teaching and the hassles that it involves.

Education textbooks and courses are also to blame since they convey the notion that learning does not create any problems provided the specified methods are applied to the letter. Generally, teachers are not made aware of the challenges in their profession until they face it practically. Teachers are also often encouraged to find their own teaching style which they feel is best to impart knowledge. Teachers often find that though they develop these…

Sources Used in Document:


Barr, A.S. (1945). Impressions, Trends, and Further Research. The Journal of Experimental Education, 14(2), 200-206. doi: 10.2307/20150851

Brouwer, N., & Korthagen, F. (2005). Can Teacher Education Make a Difference? American Educational Research Journal, 42(1), 153-224. doi: 10.2307/3699458

Heafford, P.E. (1962). Impressions of Science Teaching in Pakistan. International Review of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift fur Erziehungswissenschaft / Revue Internationale de l'Education, 8(1), 85-89. doi: 10.2307/3442377

Hourcade, J.J., & Bauwens, J. (2001). Cooperative Teaching: The Renewal of Teachers. The Clearing House, 74(5), 242-247. doi: 10.2307/30189673

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