UBC Theses and Dissertations
Competing notions of teacher professionalism Wyper, Dan
While public school teachers in British Columbia are almost universally referred to as professionals, the meaning of teacher professionalism is not easily established nor widely agreed upon. In this study, I will argue that this lack of consensus is a major factor contributing to the ongoing political struggle over the control of public education in this province. To that end, I have attempted to develop an understanding of teacher professionalism and the differing and often competing ways in which it is conceptualized by various stakeholders in British Columbia’s public education system. Using a conceptual framework based on the academic literature addressing professionalism in general and teacher professionalism more specifically, this study will critically analyze the perspectives of these stakeholders on multiple dimensions of teacher professionalism such as teacher autonomy and teacher regulation. Using case study methodology and critical discourse analysis, I address the following questions: (1) what discourses are competing in framing the central issues that define the current debate around teacher professionalism?, and (2) how do different stakeholders in the public education system in British Columbia use a particular discourse to frame central issues in the debate surrounding teacher professionalism, and for what reasons?
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