Professionalism and Pedagogy: a contemporary opportunity

AJ Pollard

Research output: Other contribution


Pedagogy is both the means of enhancing student learning and the source of teachers’ professional identity. As professionals, teachers use expert judgement to recognise and resolve the dilemmas in teaching and learning which they face every day in the classroom. At their best, teachers are also able to reflect on and evaluate their practices, and to make rationally and ethically defensible judgements that go beyond compliance, pragmatic constraints or ideological preferences. This Commentary offers a pedagogic rationale and a conceptual framework as contributions to the development of a more precise understanding of teacher expertise. It is also a step towards the establishment of a shared professional language. The framework is underpinned by extensive research and is presented to open up debate – as a support for professional thinking and discussion. The conceptual framework aspires to holistically represent the major dimensions of teacher expertise. Additionally, it celebrates teacher expertise, for the truth is that, whilst the framework is complex, teachers work and succeed within its terrain all the time. The contemporary challenge is to identify this expertise more explicitly and to find ways of representing it more clearly. If this can be done, the profession may become more self-confident as well as more effective. The public may become even more appreciative of the skills, knowledge, understanding and moral commitment which good teachers embody. The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) and ESRC’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) have been working together since 2008 to articulate more specifically the ways in which professionalism is founded in pedagogic development. A great deal of evidence has been reviewed and consultation with practitioners and researchers in the UK and overseas has been extensive. The GTCE and TLRP believe that the ideas in the Commentary will contribute to systemic sustainable improvements in teaching and learning – and comment upon it is invited. This document is also timely. Whilst this is an era of financial stringency, future policy developments are expected to increase the scope for the exercise of professional judgement within the education system. We feel sure that teachers will rise to this challenge. Ian Diamond, Chief Executive, ESRC Keith Bartley, Chief Executive, GTCE
Translated title of the contributionProfessionalism and Pedagogy: a contemporary opportunity
Original languageEnglish
TypeResearch-informed analysis for professional discussion
Media of outputdocument /pdf
PublisherTeaching and Learning Research Programme
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9780854738977
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

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Page To: 36
Other: A TLRP GTCE Commentary


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