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Treat Teaching as Learned Profession

duffyTitle: Treat Teaching as Learned Profession

Author: Helen Duffy

Date: November 2004

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Efforts to ensure that all students are taught by “highly qualified” teachers must begin with a professional view of teachers and teaching. Essential to such a view is that teaching is not a skilled occupation, but a learned profession. Teaching is complex work that requires individuals to draw upon their knowledge of disciplinary content, human development, pedagogy, diverse student backgrounds, and local context. Teachers apply this knowledge daily to influence what to teach, when to teach, and how to teach. This type of sophisticated professional judgment cannot be legislated directly. Rather, resources must be allocated to ensure that teachers have the support and work in settings that develop the knowledge and instructional leadership they need to make informed and well-reasoned pedagogical decisions.

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