In this paper, the specificity of teaching as a social function is under analysis. The author examines the evolution of the very concept of teaching and the plurality of possible meanings that have been associated with it, as well as their implications in teachers professional development as a group throughout its historic evolution.The nature of the specific knowledge required to teach will be also discussed, supported by existing theorizations on teaching professional knowledge. A set of distinctive descriptors of such knowledge is proposed and discussed. The whole perspective of this discussion is based on the reinforcement and valuing of the dimension of analysis and theorization of teaching activity by teachers themselves, assumed as enhancing the development of the social recognition of teachers as professionals.
teaching function; teaching professional knowledge