Friday, April 1, 2011

Linda Darling Hammond on teaching as a profession

Linda Darling Hammond, Professor of Education at Stanford University and former education advisor to President Obama's presidential campaign:
Q: How does teaching compare to other professions?

In this country, teaching is not yet a profession. A profession really has at least three features. First of all, everyone who is admitted to entry into the profession commits themselves to practice with the welfare of clients first and foremost as their major goal. It's like the Hippocratic oath in medicine. Second, everyone who's admitted to practice in a profession has demonstrated that they've mastered a common knowledge base and that they know then how to use that knowledge on behalf of the clients that they're there to serve. And third, a profession takes responsibility for defining, transmitting, and enforcing some standards of practice to protect the people who they're there to serve. Teaching has not acquired those three traits yet.

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