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2.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF TEACHING PROFESSION

Dictionary definitions are of little value here since too often they are incomplete or indefinite or both. The National is Education Association, through its Division of Field Service, th suggested eight criteria of a profession:

Teaching profession

1. Involves activities essentially intellectual.

2. Commands a body of specialized knowledge

3. Requires extended preparation

4. Demands continuous in-service grow th

5. Affords a life career and permanent membership

6. Sets up its own standards

7. Exalts service above per nal gain

8. Has a strong, closely knit professional organization

There are other lists to be sure; some are longer and some are shorter, but, with one exception, it is proposed to examine teaching in light of these more or less “official”standards. The authors feel very definitely, however, that a ninth standard should be added, namely: Commands or receives a large amount of public respect. Some may think that this naturally results from the attainment of the other criteria in the National Education Association list, but there seems to be much reason for including it as a separate characteristic.

If these characteristics that have been listed are 23 carefully examined, it will be seen that some are met pretty well by certain trades or occupations.

1. Teaching Profession Involves Activities Essentially

It surely should be obvious that teaching meets this first Intellectual criterion rather well. Helping young people to leam involves their mental growth, their moral growth, their emotiona growth, and their physical growth. None of theses areas ir isolated form the others; teachers are concerned with the bodic of their pupils as well as their minds. Indeed, the end of ” sound mind in a sound body” can never be lost sight of, and i is with the complete and harmonious realization of the self the the teacher is concerned.With the teachers of the manual arts, the sciences athletics and perhaps some other subjects this may be mor evident then elsewhere, but the study. the motivating, th planning, the directing, and the evaluatin hasicall intellectual. The good teacher must be a student and there is no escaping the fact. His work is essentially mental effort, and ihe dose not enjoy this he will find little satisfaction in teaching It must be regretfully admitted that too many teachers do not do much thinking. They are hearers of lessons, textbook users,and in higher institutions the readers of lectures.Most teaching is pretty conscientiously done. Teaching is a mental challenge to any one of us and every facet of our work demands that we give our best intellectual efforts to meeting the new problems that are constantly arising. In one generation the nation’s teachers have had to try to give practical classroom application to many results of research, such as the use of tests and measurement, the building of new curricula, the use of audio-visual aids, and new developments in mental hygiene, and they have done it reasonably well. The intellectual challenge is there and it is teaching that we are talking about, not specific teachers.

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