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Teachers as professionals: A community inquiry

1 December 1993


In my study I have interviewed a variety of community members about their perceptions of classroom teachers as professionals. I was interested in discovering what or whom they consider to be a professional and if classroom teachers fit into this category. I was also interested in the overall view that society has of teachers. I was looking for the communities perceived need for teacher reform in order to improve the American educational system. I conducted my research strictly through interviews with individuals in the greater Portland area. The individuals selected represented the parents of a local school, senior citizens, professionals and students. Through the interviews I found that most people do perceive some classroom teachers to bo professionals. I also found that the individuals interviewed did not see the need for teacher reform, but instead the need for society to reform their perceptions of teachers. Conclusions from my research are that a reform movement needs to be reciprocal. Teacher training programs need to address the topic of teachers as professionals and the public needs to reevaluate their perceptions of teachers. The literature reviewed stated many ways in which teachers can become· professionals yet, I believe professionalism needs to be an individual decision and our society needs to reevaluate teachers roles in the community.


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