Political Economic and Social Environment Term Paper

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(Committee on Public Education and Professional Practice, 1993) the conclusion of the Council states that "...it is essential that the profession act concertedly to bring about the changes that they know to be necessary for effective education in the province's classrooms. Specific recommendations of the Council are those as follows: (1) Development of a comprehensive position on public education and professional practice must take place on the foundations as follows: (a) a significant reduction in expectations placed on public education; (b) elimination of contradictory expectations; - recognition and enhancement of professionalism and of teachers' right to make choices and judgments in the light of their training, expertise, and needs and interests of their students; (d) provision of the resources to allow teachers to refine and perfect instructional techniques; (e) efficient organization of schools to recognize the constraints of group instruction and the reasonable limits to individualization; (f) a revised model for implementing changes in education, where in innovations are piloted under controlled conditions; are subject to independent evaluation; and are assessed on demonstrated effectiveness, impact on workload and combined impact; (g) provision of necessary supports for all introduced changes; (h) systematic and meaningful input by teachers, individual, in groups, and through their Association, into decisions which affect their professional practice; (i) restoration of balance into such areas as integration and student assessment; and (j) concentrated efforts to confront and reduce the factors that contribute to teacher stress; and (2) that an action plan be developed and implemented to provide teachers and their Association with an organized framework for promoting and achieving these changes." (Committee on Public Education and Professional Practice, 1993)


Proletarianization of the 'white collar' worker is addressed in the work of Ozga and Lawn (1981) entitled: 'Teachers, Professionalism, and the Class' which relates that proletarianization in the workplace is the joining of workers "in act and ideology" and essentially is what is a resistance of "the employer in the workplace." (Ozga and Lawn, 1983) in fact, it is related "that this resistance has been called 'professional autonomy'. Professional autonomy is strongly emphasized by teachers and respondents in this study reported by the Alberta Teachers' Association (1993) in the report "Trying to Learn" just previously reviewed in this study. Professional autonomy vests in the professional the trust and confidence that the professional, and in this case, the teacher does indeed know best what the job requires in order to be accomplished effectively, and in this case the job is instruction of students to be evidenced in accountability through testing standards. While it appears that many of the teachers in this study missed the point expressed by the Council, in retrospect one clearly views the process which is known as 'program continuity' and in fact this is a process of ongoing collective setting of standards, voicing of concerns, and collaborative cooperative inquiry into the best practice of teachers in the classroom. As the teachers in this study voice their concerns, the Council takes these concerns into consideration, and then addresses those concerns and empowers the teachers to take the reins and collectively address these concerns and to, among their own profession, to set the necessary standards that are deemed appropriate to achieve the best practice outcome of classroom instruction, under the present conditions, and with the present resources. Furthermore, the future vision is addressed, which includes a commitment toward provision of necessary resources to teachers to accomplish what is set out as 'best practice' for classroom instruction. The Council has simply requested that the teachers present to the Council what is deemed appropriate and that this be upon the basis of an 'organized framework' that is stated concisely. The work of Barrett and Meaghan (1998) state the concept of proletarianization well as follows: "Increased teaching loads and detailed, hierarchical control of work activity, tend to reduce professional, academic work to a routine job. The establishment and preservation of a highly skilled, professionally self-disciplined and autonomous faculty is undermined by the daily activities of cost-conscious academic managers." (Barrett and Meaghan, 1998)


There is no way whatsoever, in any shape or fashion that the intuitive knowledge and wisdom of experienced teachers can be categorized efficiently within a written statement or plan and this is the concern of teachers in the study reviewed in this work. As stated by Barrett and Meaghan, citing the work of Clark (1997) "Under these circumstances even a retired, formally tenured liberal professor at the University of California is compelled to conclude that: "A relatively powerless proletariat exists in American academic life, centered in employment that is part-time and poorly paid."(35) This indeed is a concern to teachers and it appears that this has been well allowed for in the report published by the Alberta Teacher's Association, and because this is so prominent in what could be called a 'model' of 'program continuity' it would seem that this concern is one required to be given due considerations at all time by teachers in the determination of precisely what the 'plan' is comprised of and the changes and shifts in the 'continuity' that characterized the specific program instituted by educational professionals for 'best practice' in the classroom.


Trying to Teach (1993) the Alberta Teachers' Association - Interim Report of the Committee on Public Education and Professional Practice as Approved by Provincial Executive Council for discussion at the 1993 Annual Representation Assembly. 1993 Jan.

Ozga, Jennifer and Lawn, Martin (1981) Teachers, Professionalism and Class: A Study of Organized Teachers. Taylor & Francis, 1981.

Barrett, Ralph and…

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