The professional Science Teacher
M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Assistant Professor in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
The term 'Profession' stands for an occupation which requires some specialized study and training, and the purpose of which is generally to provide skilled services and guidance. A profession is a calling and implies acquisition of a fond of knowledge, range skills and their application in service of humanity. They services rendered by a professional may be direct as will the case of teachers and doctors or indirect as is in the case of teacher educators i.e. teacher of a teacher. It is a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification.
According to Halliday “a profession is an occupation with a set of competency based on knowledge acquired through many years of academic training, the goal of its members being a commitment to service guided by a code of ethics. It requires formal qualification, mastery of skills, specialized knowledge and prolonged training.
A professional is a skilled practitioner.
“Teaching is a profession laden with risk and responsibility that requires a great deal from those who enter into it.” --John I. Goodlad
Characteristics of a profession
1. It demands possession of a body of specialised knowledge and extended practical training.
2. It renders an essential social service.
3. It demands continuous in service training of its members.
4. It has a clearly defined membership of a particular group with a view to safe- guarding the interests of the profession.
5. It involves a code of ethics.
6. It sets up its own professional organization.
7. It assures its members a professional career.
8. It has a truth and loyalty.
9. It should have the qualities such as Honesty, Humbleness, Accountability, self regulation and Integrity.
10. It must have responsibilities and Social justice.
11. It demands regularity and punctuality.
Teaching as a profession
Teaching is a profession. It is seen as the noblest profession around the world. It is the career that receives highest respect in the society. Teachers prefer to be identified by their profession. The points of reason for seeing teaching as a profession are the following.
1) Teaching requires a sound body of knowledge.
2) It requires special training and practice.
3) It is a multi skill activity.
4) It creates all professionals.
5) It requires continuous updating of one’s knowledge.
6) It emphasizes punctuality and regularity.
7) It focuses on character.
8) It has rigid code of ethics.
9) It has high status and dignity.
Since teaching being a profession, teachers are expected to have appropriate professional behavior, appearance and outlook. The values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence their behaviours towards students, families, colleagues and communities must be there in teachers. Teachers affect students learning, motivation and development. They must have professional growth, guided by the beliefs and attitudes related to global values such as commitment to the teaching profession, professional ethics and manners, professional speaking and writing skills etc. They should not use abusive language, cursing words etc and should wear suitable dress, make appropriate movements and cause best impression.
Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, former president of India has quoted that, “We request that teachers do two things, first let them think about developed India in their own ways & enthuse the students, secondly they should update their own knowledge, because the student is only as good as teacher. Let them constantly try to upgrade their skills so that they can enthuse the children to think big.”
Professionalism in teacher education is the key factor to improve the quality of education. Teaching is a noble profession which lays the foundation for preparing the individual for all other profession.