The professionalization of education thirty years later: two steps forward, three steps back

Since the 1980s, professionalization has dominated international reformist ideology regarding teaching. This text questions the result of the professionalization movement over the past thirty years. Is the professional movement truly stronger as we are entering the 21st century? We are going to show that, from an international perspective, the evolution of teaching is far from linear; it consists of recurring patterns, detours, and setbacks. Furthermore, teaching has evolved differently in different countries, even varying among the regions within a single country. Teaching does not evolve with the same rhythm everywhere and traditional and contemporary forms exist side by side, which gives rise to a variety of tensions. Finally, in a large number of countries we observe obstacles to professionalization: school populations facing difficulties, competition, commercialization of education, etc. How, then, can we conceive of attaining real professionalization for teachers?

Professionalization; Teaching; Teachers; Insecurity

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