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Concept of Professionalism

Discuss about the Professional Practice in Education and Training.

Nelson Mandela quoted “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world” (Biesta 2015). With the change in the global scenarios, the education system is also changing day by day. In order to cope up with such changes, demand of professional educators has been increasing. This paper aims to illustrate the concept of professionalism and dual professionalism in the context education and training. It further mentions the role of stakeholders and external bodies on education and training and also the extent to which the professionals are accountable to the stakeholders in respect to their organizations.

The concept of professionalism and how it should be obtained is an area of prime focus in the area of education and training. Although there is no hard and fast definition of professionalism but it can be vaguely described as an ideal which should be aspired by individuals involved in a particular occupation, so that they can discriminate themselves from other workers with different job roles. According to Birden et al. (2014), a professional should implement precautions while making certain decisions within their arena of expertise and consider some authority for the benefit of their own professional enhancement.

There are various segmentations even in the field of education and training. My area of specialism being a nurse practitioner as well as a nurse tutor the ideals of professionalism which should be followed are having a thorough knowledge body which is theoretical, practical as well as clinical and being able to apply that knowledge using theoretical and evidence based practise. It is very important to remain open minded and remain committed to life-long learning. One should possess self-regulation and desire to perform quality work towards the society. Legislative standards of practise and ethics code should be followed. Most importantly, being a professional practitioner, one should be accountable to the respective organization. Being a nurse is not autonomous hence the code of practise is governed by external sources which are influenced by the government (Al-Eraky and Marei 2015).

Being a nurse tutor the concept of dual professionalism is met, which is referred to having a deeper knowledge, conceptual understanding and expertise in teaching along with matched expertise in the subject knowledge which is practised. A dual professional must have a personal commitment to think and share the gained expertise with other professional co-workers in order to bring about innovation and learning schemes through professional body membership (.Blais et al. 2015) There is an increased satisfaction in teaching and training in the Education and Training sector especially when it comes by helping individuals to progress and develop. Pleasure is perceived from overcoming barriers of learning, and seeing learners better equipped to make their way in the world. The dual professionalism of Education and Training teachers and trainers is a core concept of the Professional Standards. Teachers and trainers should be aware about how to apply teaching skills that are directed towards diversified contexts and types of learners, as well as give the learners the opportunity of expert subject knowledge and skills benefits (Edmond and Hayler 2013).

Dual Professionalism in Education and Training

As a nurse educator, it is needed to meet the academic ability to associate theory with practice through clinical credibility in order to meet the needs of all the service users. This will help a nurse educator to be active and productive as a participant in the learning community as a teacher. Being involved in the teaching of post and pre-registration nurses, there is a possibility that individuals could be drawn from different inter-professional sources and backgrounds in society (Lim and Jo 2016). This will be adding benefit and diversity to the graduate nursing curricula that is being currently developed in the United Kingdom and progressing nurses’ development. However there is a lack of strong identity in this case as nursing is often determined as a semi-profession (Doukas et al. 2013).

Similarly, for any other field of education and training like for example financial sciences, the individuals who are involved should comply with certain codes of conduct of professionalism like acting with integrity, should act on behalf of the public interest, agree on the rules of conduct, should possess the required skills, experience and training to make quick judgements and work with autonomy (Monrouxe et al. 2015). Some ideals are similar to that of the codes for the individuals who are involved in nursing, however there are certain differences for the individuals involved in financial sciences can operate with a strong professional identity as well as practise education and can carry this out with varying degrees of duality. There is no imposition from external sources or the government, as is seen in case of nursing.

In the field of nursing there are certain professional ethics and values which should always be projected during the service which are maintaining human dignity, integrity, altruism, independent and social justice. The professional values should be accountable to the organization. Accountability includes being answerable and responsible for individual actions, inactions, judgments, consequences and outcomes (Thomas 2015). Obligation should be accepted to be accountable and to acknowledge the professional, ethical and legal aspects of the practice, which includes legislations, standards, ethical codes and applicable policies. For being able to impart education, the individual with dual professionalism must have knowledge which provides the fundamental for a professional practice and enabling the professional to define the nature of opportunities, problems and solutions; make autonomous and collaborative decisions. The nurse educators influence nursing knowledge by sharing their acquired knowledge and expertise with others. The knowledge can be applied to support a safe, competitive, competent and practice with ethics that is informed through evidence. Integration of learning into nursing practice as is also required for continuing competence (Monrouxe, Rees and Wells 2015).

Nursing as an Example of Professionalism

According to Sachs (2016), dual professionalism is generally discussed in the context of higher education for most of the university teachers since the since academics are subjected to the dual requirements of a thorough knowledge base in their specialized subject discipline and in ways of delivering education. However, often there is a crisis professional identity. A solution to this can be the practice of continuing professional development (CPD) (Edmond and Hayler 2013). The key features of Continuing Professional Development includes a documented process, to be self-directed and not by the employer, focusing  on learning from experiences, reflective on the learning and review, help you set development goals and objectives, include both formal and informal learning (Park and Oh 2014). It will help a professional by providing an overview of the professional development to date, reminding an individual of the achievements attained and how far progress has been gained, directs one’s career and helps to keep eye on the set goals, uncovers gaps in the skills and capabilities, opens up further development needs, provides examples and situations for a Curriculum Vitae or interview, demonstrates the professional position to clients and employers and finally helps with one’s career establishment or a possible change in career (Morihara et al. 2013).

In conclusion it can be stated that professionalism should be observed by every individual entrusted with different job roles. Every teacher is a dual professional as they have subject or vocational expertise apart from expertise as a teacher or a trainer.

The educational policies and the reforms in relation to the education system in the United Kingdom is restoring accountability to the stakeholders, in the recent years. This has enabled the stakeholders and the external bodies have a higher central control on the regulation of the school curriculum and assessment system. This importance on accountability has impacted professionalism and the government has been conceptualised by it. Such external accountability has a major impact on the teachers themselves are conceptualised by this in the political environment of respective schools.

The impacts on organisations in educations on being accountable to the stakeholders and external bodies have been discussed here. This is done through the teacher’s perceptions of accountability in accordance to management and professional relationships at higher education level and the organization of work and professional identify. It has been seen that in relation to the education system management, the managerial culture and procedures have been introduced even into the schools and universities in the United Kingdom in the recent years (Monrouxe et al. 2015). With the increase in the responsibilities of the educational institutions regarding management of their own financial resources, the encouragement in the adoption of the markets and managerial discourses have also increased.  The head of the departments of these institutes see themselves as responsible to the senior manager for the whole department, including its department members. Some departmental heads saw a movement in their roles by being defined as middle management, as the form of line management was resisted by most of them. This projected that the social self of the departmental heads as well as the individual role of the institution was being redefined at a length (Rees, Monrouxe and McDonald 2015).

Other Fields of Education and Training

When discussing about the discourses in education and especially the professionalism of the teachers, it should be examined in a way that the keywords are useful in a public debate and how might affect the individual institutes and the departments.  Care should be observed when drawing generalizations from certain examples and when trying to identify the informants of the study (Lim and Jo 2016). Similarly it would be improper to consider them as the heroic agents who are resisting the forces which are trying to control them in the name of state power. A claim of such kind would fail to admit the complex nature of their situation. It is rather observed that the requirements that are to be met might change within the institutions and by the individuals keeping up with the beliefs and systems. If this not the case then the role of accountability may also change in regards to the institution. Reports from research studies pointed out that it was most of the teachers themselves who raised the question of accountability when they were interrogated regarding the changes which is brought about by the dictated curriculum. They have seen this as being an area where legislative changes in education can be brought about in order to bring changes in the pedagogy in the philosophy and structure of the management, if it has not been already done. At a certain period when the work and professional identity of the educators appear to be more limited due to the given circumstances of external controls, it becomes more important to undertake a critical analysis of the situation that may be the process of transformation. The current environment of the United Kingdom does not appear to be particularly encouraging in cases of critical refection. In spite of these factors, the government and the other sources that claims that education should be a research bases profession and the research policies have tended to construct a professionalism in the arena of teaching and training. Although there are undertakings who are worthy but these are not the only ways in which knowledge about teaching is constructed. The larger and more complex issues which are related to the expectations of the teachers. The external stakeholders are growing in prominence relative to the internal stakeholders in delivering the change. Their presence is also designed in order to make higher education institutions much more responsive to the environmental demands and changes of the country. It is even argued that if academics is to remain the epicentre of the efforts to improve the quality of teaching and training, then more care is needed to be provided by institutions and external quality bodies, for the improvement of the conditions and context of academics’ work. If this is not the case quality monitoring is subjected to be invested with a `beast-like’ presence requiring to be given practices which are ritualistic, by the employees seeking to meet accountability requirements (Iwasiw, Goldenberg and Andrusyszyn 2014).

Professional Ethics and Values

There is an existence of a gap between the design of the policies and the final implementation and situational factors, hence there is a need for the employers and the stakeholders to work in partnership (Rees, Monrouxe and McDonald 2015). There is a complex combination of limitations and opportunities for the college and academic employees in respect to the stages of development strategic priorities, the policies of the organizations and certain other vulnerabilities. Circumstantial changes with the emergence of outcomes are not related to the anticipations or intentions of the policy developers. How the policy is received and decoded should be of prime importance.

Importance is given to the desirability of the enhancement of quality and it is advisable to take full account of the imitations and the circumstances of the situations. In this context, there is influence in both implementation and the activities of the system users in changing or reconstructing the quality of policy (Morihara, Jackson and Chun 2013).

Focus needs to be given on a particular work environment as the study reported here has discussed much required insights into the issues revolving around the implementation of quality policy. The study also reports evidence that the employees especially the frontline educators, do not silently accept the transformation. The academic staff should be the makers of the policies. They should be in charge to shape the course by which the policies should be implemented. They are capable of responding, adapting to and even resisting to the circumstances in which the policies are designed (Karimi et al. 2014).

Accordingly, there is an immediate need to focus on what academics think and do and what interpretations they attach to the different aspects of policies and how they work around the policy. This is turn makes it important to gain the access of the local practices and backstage responses of the policy implementations (Zuber-Skerritt 2013). It has been illustrated that the ways in which academics respond to policy, and the strategies used, are varied. It is also debatable whether  they are active or passive participants in the process of policy development.

Literature survey suggests that there is a need for stakeholders to be involved in the process of curriculum building to ensure that the individuals involved in nursing education are properly educated in order to meet the demands. The stakeholders are involved mainly during starting of a new program which is perceived more as a marketing research. The involvement may provide a structured commitment to consolidating and extending the collaboration between the universities and the users. This could facilitate internship activities, life-long learning and increase the employability of the fresh graduated professionals (Tsekleves, Cosmas and Aggoun 2016). 

Continuing Professional Development

In conclusion it is seen that the role of stakeholders in the area of education and training is perceived by some groups as desirable while some think they are trying to impose control on the education system in a negative manner. However it has been perceived often that the role of the external bodies or the stakeholders has an impact on the curriculum which may have a beneficial effect in terms of internship activities and employability management.


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