An educational law perspective on educator professionalism
Taunyane, Tladi Petros
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This research study deals mainly with the educator professionalisation in the post democratic South Africa, paying attention to the role of a professional council in promoting educator professionalism. The status and image of teaching in this country seem to have been viewed From the racial and cultural differences of communities previously. The democratic dispensation brought an end to this unfair racial and cultural discrimination in the education system through the establishment of a non-racial professional council for educators (i.e. SACE). The research aims are to determine: - The characteristics of a professions and those needed for educator professionalism; and - the role of the a professional council in promoting educator professionalisation. In order to attain the above-mentioned research aims, a literature review and an empirical investigation were undertaken. The literature study was used to clarify concepts such as occupation, semi-profession, profession, professionalisation and professional status. Secondly, characteristics or common features associated with traditional models of professions (ie. accounting, law and medicine) were discussed from a theoretical point of view. Lastly, the literature study highlighted the establishment of professional councils for educators in other parts of the world, including South Africa. The different forms of legislation and policy documents applicable in education were discussed. In order to determine the extent to which teaching adheres to or fulfils the characteristics associated with a profession, teaching was tested against these characteristics. The history of the establishment of SACE was briefly discussed and the objectives or role of this organisation in educator professionalisation concluded this chapter. The empirical research was conducted by using the questionnaire as a measuring instrument. The advantages and disadvantages of the questionnaire as measuring instrument were highlighted. The target population comprises of 239 educators from a total population of 2070 educators in Lejweleputswa and Northern Free State Education Districts -Free State Province. The data collected in the investigation was processed through the SAS computer package to establish frequencies and percentages of responses mean scores ranking, t-test procedures and the effect sizes. The results were then presented tables, analysed and interpreted in accordance with the literature study. The literature study revealed that like all other occupations, teaching aspires to attain recognition and status as a profession. It was also revealed that teaching partially satisfy characteristics associated with professions. The empirical study revealed that the employment of un- or under qualified educators is still prevalent in South African schools. In the last chapter, Chapter 5, conclusions from the literature review and empirical investigation were drawn. The recommendations with regard to the role of SACE in educator professionalisation were provided. Finally based on the research, future research studies in SACE and educator professionalism were recommended.
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