Publication Date



Recently, Sachs (Teacher professionalism: why are we still talking about it? 22(4):413–425, 2016) posed the question, “why are we still talking about teacher professionalism?” Despite a long history of political and educational discourses about the professionalising of teaching, there remains little clarity about the meaning and intent of terms such as profession, professionalism and professionalisation in the context of teaching. Debates abound in relation to the influence of these discourses on the professionalising, deprofessionalising and reprofessionalising of teachers. Significant to the issues raised is the role and function of teacher education in the professional learning and development of teachers and the promotion of the teaching profession. This chapter explores core issues surrounding professionalism and teacher education with an emphasis on the Australian context. It will: (i) analyse definitions of the concepts of profession and professionalism and their application to teachers and teaching; (ii) outline core contestations in the spaces between political and educational discourses in contemporary contexts; and (iii) discuss emerging perspectives in teacher education for innovating policy and practice in support of the ongoing maturation of the teaching profession.


School of Education

Document Type

Book Chapter

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ERA Access

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