27 SES 01 A, Teacher Professionalism and Change
In the light of current tendencies where the fear of foreigners is increasing in seemingly stable democratic societies (Macedo and Panayota, 2016; Wistrich, 2013) and educational debates tend to emphasize large scale investigations to solve various educational issues (Liljestrand and Edling, 2018; Hattie, 2012; Elliot, 2002) the relationship between plurality and ethics from a teacher perspective becomes important to revive. There is a great amount of research within teacher’s professional work that focus upon developing proper characteristics in teachers (virtues or universal principles) that will help them to socialize young people into a desired direction (Nucci, 2006; Killen and Smetana, 2006, Kohlberg, 1981). This approach to ethics helps teachers to create an education that stimulates certain values over others but it does not provide teachers with tools to act in relation to the existence of plurality and similarity that exist simultaneously in educational situations.
Depending on how teachers’ work is conceptualized, two basic kinds of professionalism can be interpreted. The first one is labeled as outside-in-professionalism characterized by teachers responding to external and standardized demands. In this sense, teachers as professionals are connected to standardized outcomes, such as tests, representing a general and universal teaching practice. The second, which is labeled as inside-out-professionalism, is instead characterized by a teaching practice that is complex and changeable, depending on the qualified judgment of the teacher. Central to inside-out-professionalism is teacher judgment. It is not a question of defining the two forms of professionalism, also described as a tension between accountability and professional responsibility (Englund & Dyrdal Solbrekke 2011), but rather discussing the moral nature of teaching and teachers’ professional ethical role (Campbell 2008) and where the limits of teachers’ responsibilities are to be drawn (Stanley & Stronach, 2013). In this paper we argue that a possibility to judiciously act in relation to the intricate relationship between ethics and plurality, e.g. otherness or “the Other”, pleads for teachers who are able to make well-grounded judgments. The process of making judgments in the everyday flow of practice is here understood in relation to an emerged pedagogical rhythm; i.e. a pendulum movement, between the ethical imperative of intimacy/recognition or a respectful distance in addition to a previously defined subject content (cf. Högberg, 2015).
In relation to this the paper strives to explore how ethics within the field of teacher professionalism can be grasped without overlooking the relationship between plurality and similarity in dynamic and changeable educational contexts. More specifically, the purpose of this paper is to conceptually explore how two researchers from two different ontological backgrounds describe the purpose and meaning of the concepts intimacy/recognition and distance and also how the insights they offer can contribute in understanding challenges for teachers in situated classrooms to handle curriculum expectations (similar for all) with an ethical sensitivity (that pays regard to Otherness). What may happen when teachers’ responses to the pedagogical rhythm, central to an inside-out-professionalism needs to accommodate to ethical sensitiveness, and how may this be theoretically understood?
In order to deeper understand teacher’s work as inside-out-professionalism, when meeting the student as “the Other”, the concept of pedagogical rhythm may be used as it puts the focus on “the shifts of different and recurring intentions consisting of pedagogical and ethical issues created thorough interaction between teacher and pupils in actions over time” (Högberg, 2015:297). To deepen the moral dimension of teacher’s work, we would like to bring to the fore an ethical sensitiveness of importance for the pedagogical rhythm evolved. Sensing or sensitivity as a dimension within teacher professionalism to handle the presence of otherness is central in ethics of care (1984; 1988) and has later been explored through the readings of Emmanuel Lévinas’ sense of responsibility (Edling and Frelin, 2016) and Emmanuel Lévinas’ and Ewa Ziarek’s notion of sensitivity (Edling and Frelin, 2016). This, we want to further explore theoretically by using the concepts of intimacy/recognition and distance, following the work of professor in sociology Zygmund Bauman (1993, 1995, 1997) and professor in political science, Iris Marion Young (2002). Both researcher are interested in exploring the relationship between politics, social justice and an ethics that pays regard to the Other, but whereas Young turns to gender and feminist research Bauman’s work evolves a great deal around the horrors of holocaust and the desire to prevent it from happening again. In the paper Young’s and Bauman’s descriptions of intimacy/recognition and distance will be presented in a dialogical fashion and discussed in relation to research about teacher professionalism and the concept of pedagogical rhythm. Consequently, the method used in order to conceptually explore how ethics within the field of the teacher professionalism can be grasped without overlooking the relationship between plurality and similarity in dynamic and changeable educational contexts, is thus an explorative reading of theoretical input from Bauman and Young.
Contrary to the vast amount of research highlighting teachers’ ethical endeavors as a questions of acquiring proper principles or virtues, this paper aims to contribute in enhancing the inside-out-professional with tools for ethical judgment also in relation to evolved intentions of the content of the subject in pedagogical settings. The paper also aims to provide theoretical support for further empirical studies in teacher professionalism and ethics. Ethics is here grasped as entrenched within an educational situation that is contextual, moving, and dynamic hence forcing teachers to respond to both the Other and social contracts that emphasizes similarity. The two acts of intimacy/recognition and distance, are entwined in the concrete moment, but as concepts they constitute analytical tools to grasp important qualities in the pedagogical rhythm emerged (cf. Irisdotter Aldenmyr, 2016). The expected outcome is to outline an analytical model with the capacity to grasp teacher professionalism without overlooking the relationship between plurality and similarity in dynamic and changeable educational contexts.
Bauman, Zygmunt. (1993). Postmodern ethics. Oxford, UK ; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell. Bauman, Zygmunt. (1995). Life in fragments: essays in postmodern morality. Oxford: Blackwell. Bauman, Zygmunt. (1997). Postmodernity and its discontents. New York: New York University Press. Campbell, Elisabeth. (2008). The ethics as a moral professon. Curriculum Inquiry, 38(4), 357-385. Edling, Silvia & Frelin, Anneli. (2013). Doing good? Interpreting teachers’ given and felt responsibilities for the pupil’s well-being in an age of measurement. Teachers and teaching: Theory and practice, 19(4), 419-432. Edling, Silvia & Frelin, Anneli. (2016). Sensing as an ethical dimension in teacher professionality. Journal of Moral Education, 45(1), 46-58. Elliott, John. (2001). Making Evidence-based Practice Educational British Educational Research Journal, 27(5), 555-574. Englund, Tomas & Solbrekke, Tone Dyrdal. (2011). Professional responsibility under pressure? In Ciaran Surgue & Tone Dyrdal Solbrekke (Eds.) Professional Responsibility. New horizons of praxis, (pp. 57-71). London: Routledge. Hargreaves, David. (1997). In Defence of Evidence-Based Teaching. British Educational Research Journal, 23(4), 405-419. Hattie, John. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: maximizing impact on learning. London, New York: Routledge. Högberg, Sören. (2015). Om lärarskapets moraliska dimension: ett perspektiv och en studie av lärarstuderandes nätbaserade seminariesamtal. Örebro: Örebro Studies in Education 51. Irisdotter Aldenmyr, Sara. (2016). “What values, whose perspective in social and emotional training? A study on how ethical approaches and values may be handled analytically in education and educational research”, Ethics and Education, 11(2), 141-158. Killen, Melanie , & Smetana, G. Judith (2006). Handbook of moral development. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Kohlberg, Lawrence. (1981). The meaning and measurement of moral development. Worcester, Mass.: Clark University Press. Liljestrand, Johan och Edling, Silvia (2018). The political controversies of teacher education: a Swedish Case. Conference paper presented at AAACS, New York, April 11-13. Macedo, Donaldo & Gounari, Panayota. (2016). Globalization of Racism. New York: Routledge. Nucci, Larry. (2006). Classroom Management for moral and social development. In C. M. Evertson & C. S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of Classroom Management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues (pp. 711-731). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Stanley, Edward and, & Stronach, Ian. (2013). Raising and doubling ‘standards' in professional discourse: a critical bid. Journal of Educational Policy, 28(3), pp. 291-305. Wistrich, Robert. (2013). Demonizing the Other: Antisemitism, Racism and Xenophobia. New York: Routledge. Young, Iris Marion. (2002). Inclusion and Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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