Merriam Webster Online Dictionary Education Essay

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Profession stated in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation and a main calling, vocation, or employment. Whereas, Stinnett (1962) expresses it as, a work based upon focused intellectual study and training. Spring (1985) in his view defines it as an occupation requiring expert knowledge that justifies a monopoly of services granted by government licensing.

According to the Merriam- Webster online dictionary the definition of professionalism is the behavior, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person or even the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior expected from a person who is trained to do a well job. Pratte and Rury (1991) defined professionalism as, principle to which individuals and occupational groups desire, in order to distinguish themselves from other workers. Teaching is affirmed to be a dignified profession. Cherishing and nurturing the life's of a child and transforming them into a human being, a well reputed person acceptable in the modernized society. Teachers are the core element of this profession.

Teacher and teaching

As per dictionary reference teaching is the act or profession of a person who teaches or in other words something that is taught. While, a teacher is one who educates, especially whose occupation is to instruct defined in Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

The teaching profession has attracted quite a good numbers of young people in the recent years with rise in private and government educational institutes around the world. Yet the educational institutes are vying for the finest faculty, teaching jobs have become attractive.

Teacher and professionalism

On survey in 2010 an ATL (The Education Union) member expressed his views on teacher professionalism in a way that it is working with children in creative way daily, to make learning fun and interesting. Furthermore, he said that teachers are key guardians of education whose voices should be the driving force in improving and developing education while the education system faces challenges and conflicts pressures. According to him building relationship with pupils, families, and other professions and exercising judgment on curriculum, assessment and pedagogy are parts of teacher professionalism.

Significance of teacher in child's life

The importance of teacher stated by Shrutigosain (2010) is that children are like clay in a potter's hands given potter's desired shape. The early years in child's life are the most essential as they lay the foundation for developing their nature, personality and the individual self. Hence, parents or teachers can mould them in the way they want. In today's world child is more dependent on teachers for help, advice and guidance as majority of parents are working.

In addition teacher's influence in child's life is different in different phases. A teacher moves from being a guide at early years to a mentor in pre-teen to early teen years to a friend in early adult years for a child to grow into capable individuals of tomorrow. There is no denying to the fact that the role of a teacher has an essential part in student's from joining of a day care centre till the stage when he / she takes a step forward towards establishing a professional career.

Beth Hawkins (2012) acknowledged that a teacher does not simply impact students' academic performance but life-long benefits including raising earnings, lowering rate of teen pregnancy and college enrollment. Story in New York Times mentions that single classroom's lifetime would be raised by about $266,000 with replacement of a poor teacher with an average one.

It is also very important to be a good teacher as learning reaches the potential level with help of efficient teachers. As an evidence, Taylor et al. (2010) studied pair of twins in Florida, which had different teachers in elementary school. Twins were chosen as they have some definite percentage of identical genes. He measured the quality of the twins' teachers, and other life circumstances. By using this strategy distinguishes was made on contribution of good teachers to student achievement, against genetics in opposition to life circumstances. Precisely, they found that teacher quality moderates genetic influence on student's literacy test scores. In real-world terms, it means that different children have different genetic potential for learning. Having a bad teacher, limited genetic potential and variability in learning was low whereas, excellent teacher opened up the genetic potential therefore; large variability was accounted in students having good teachers. Besides, teacher an important note was that, other environmental factors were also significantly related to student achievement.

To mold child in right direction a teacher has to be an effective teacher rather than just a teacher.

According to Gibbs (2002) teachers need to be able to live on the demands, fear and challenges within the various conditions of teaching. He stated that an efficient teacher needs the capacity to be constant, flexible, and modern on new teaching approaches and be prepared in the case of failure. Moreover, an effective teacher doesn't only teach in front of the class by doing a good demonstration on the extensive and deep content knowledge, rather they teach to promote and enhance learning. Besides, they are familiar with managing their knowledge, classroom and the students in terms of discipline, work, interaction between teacher- students-students, giving instructions, and assessing and evaluating activities, the students and their work. Therefore, an effective teacher also implies to have a series of qualities both professional and personal skills Revista de la Facultad de Educación de Albacete (2009).

In short, students respect to what teacher says and acts accordingly. If a teacher teaches and discusses basic problem that they can be facing besides curriculum it can bring a good change in them. Those teacher will automatically be on top of list for management as they'd be bring them business.

Attitudes of teacher in teaching professional

An attitude, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website, is an intellectual position with gaze at a reality, a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state. In similar way Bem (1974) presented concept of attitude the belief + value = attitude behavior.

Humans are constantly thinking, feeling or doing something. These three main components are occupied by humans all the time and form their attitude which may or may not change with time. In other words an attitude reflects how one thinks, feels, and behaves in a given situation. Elements of attitude broken in three parts by Sapulding Kevin (2008) are cognitive, affective and behavioral components as he sees attitude in evaluating a person, object or idea. Moreover, Thurstone (1931) was first to measure attitude as the degree of positive or negative affect associated with some psychological object.

Attitude can be either positive or negative .The Merriam-Webster Dictionary website states the word positive as having a good effect, favorable, or marked by optimism. On contrary, expressing feelings and emotions or saying and acting with negative statements is said to be negative attitude as per online dictionary.

Many teachers carry positive attitude while some carries negative attitude in teaching. There can be reasons behind adaptation of attitude. It can be said that teacher carry the attitude as per their experiences. Nico Riley (n.d.) describes positive attitude as a philosophy of approaching life with optimism and self-confidence. Emerging a positive attitude requires replacing negative thinking with positive in an effort to create a successful outlook on life and experiences. Whereas on other hand, after personal contact with teachers Hati (1989) describes ideas of negative attitude that there's no rapid promotion in teaching profession, pay is inadequate for comfortable living, teaching is preference when no other job is available, no respect is given by society, and there's no reward for good deed.

Kevin Ryan and James Michael Cooper (n.d.) says those teachers having warmth, empathy, sensitivity, enthusiasm and humor are said to be good and successful teachers. Some researchers examined teachers' personality, attitude, experience, achievement and aptitude to predict teachers' classroom behavior and unfortunately these ignored the most important measure of teaching which was the interaction of teacher with learners and academic performance of students taught.

Elona Hartjes, M.Ed. (Candidate) discusses that the only way to maintain a positive classroom environment is to have positive attitude. She agrees to Wade Boggs statement that a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes are result of positive attitude. It is a like a catalyst and sparks extraordinary results. After implementation she adds that positive attitude can make one believe and act as if all students are successful and none are losers. It also makes students live up to teachers expectations. Whereas, negative attitude of teachers leads to negative attitude in students as Vincent Ryan Ruggiero (2000) shares that on meeting a teacher in workshop sharing her experience of change in behavior and lack of interest in her students. After discussion he came across that negative attitude is traced to selfism and is led by not only from exposition of advertising industry's and the entertainment and communications media's glamorization of the self-help message but also from attitude of their teachers shown in teaching profession.

Specifically, a good teacher is more down pat than a bad teacher. A good teacher is one who poses positive attitude showing care, concern, attention and understanding. If a teacher is harsh, screams or mistreats a student she won't be liked to be taught from.

Change in attitude

Attitude can change for a number of reasons in which most common can be Attitude a result of learning of the individual, social and situational influences. Along with what other people do or say even escorts in change of attitude. Likewise, Asonson, Wilson and Akert (n.d) mentions that attitudes change when people engage in counter attitudinal advocacy for low external justification and on its occurrence people find internal rationale for their behavior which then brings behavior in line with their attitudes. Attitudes also alter in response to an influential communication as well as emotional changes in number of ways also influence attitude change.

Similarly, Kendra cherry (n.d) talked that learning theories can change attitude that to create positive emotional reactions by associating positive feeling classical conditioning is used, whereas, desired attitudes can be strengthened and undesired can be weakened with operant conditioning. Ones' attitude can also change by motivation to listen and think on message or communication. Even the characteristics of speaker can leads to alteration of attitude. Lastly, she mentioned that to reduce the stress or tension created by incompatible beliefs or people shifts attitude.

Attitude influences change in behavior that when it time comes to act on or express an attitude sometimes we act spontaneously with little thought. Behavior is many times based on deliberations and planning. Spaulding Kevin (2008).

Susana de Souza Barros and Marcos F. Elia (n.d) elaborates that teachers' attitudes are strong background outcomes, embedded in experience and doesn't become regular routine conducts, in the sense that they are developed slowly with interactions and become well established for every person after some time. Hence, attitudes can be customized only by individual when they are aware of elements and evidence that new postures would be better to deal with.

People are most likely to behave according to their attitude under circumstance such as result of personal experience, expert in the subject, expecting favorable outcome, repetition of expressions and when one wins or loses something due to the issue.

Significance of teachers' attitude

Children are affected academically, developmentally, and emotionally by teacher's attitude leaving the impact both inside and outside the classroom. Student's observations demonstrated by educators are valid and memorable influencing student positively and negatively. Constructive characteristics portrayed by teachers such as high expectations, have a positive effect on students, where negative behavior, such as negative feedback, can shape student unconstructively (Wentzel, 2002).

Professionalism in teaching

Jocelyn Right (n.d.) believes that teachers also spread to their students' common societal values such as responsibility, respectfulness and conscientiousness besides being masters of the content they teach. Even when teachers are not delivering formal instruction even then they are teaching and influencing life of student. Therefore, professionalism itself along with ethics in professionalism is important for teacher and considerations to parents of students and employers of teachers. In addition professionalism in teaching refers to teacher interaction with students, other teachers and supervisors. It also engages neutral and appropriate teaching of all students, despite of ethnicity, academic performance and personality. Only proficient teacher gives their best to establish an unbiased and safe classroom where all students feel cared for and are treated fairly. Those showing professional attitude in teaching are collaborative and individualistic and shares materials when appropriate but does not become a burden on colleagues as well as doesn't create personal grouping or quarrels with colleagues. Teachers having professionalism will be respectful and approachable.

Byrd McDaniel (n.d) emphasized five aspects of professionalism for teacher together with teachers wearing inappropriate outfit undermines the teaching environment and objectives of the education system, professionalism are practicality and openness to change, stay composed and pragmatic when class gets out of control means stay organized and handle the situation rather than arguing.

The teaching profession has come under heavy attack recently for its perceived lack of commitment to students Lieberman (1965). Teaching profession has historically been viewed as with a high turnover rate. For many women, teaching seemed to be a stop-over before marring and having children Feiman-Nemser & Floden (1986). This turnover was adequate with lack of commitment on the part of teachers to their work whereas, the difference lies in perceptions as many women see motherhood as an extension of teaching Hart, Shannon P.; Marshall, J. Dan (1992).

Ingrid Carlgren (1999) addresses the issue of teachers' professional knowledge and professionalism in relation to the growing design aspects of teachers' work. Character of teaching profession and professionalism has changed due to new demands on teachers. The change in teacher's work outside the classroom presupposes new kind of professionalism in teaching which can overcome by increasing autonomy of general teacher resulting in enlarging professionalism in teaching. Increase in job satisfaction and professionalism leads to decrease in on job stress and greatening job satisfaction with association in high professionalism towards teaching at all levels of education Pearson, L. Carolyn; Moomaw, William (2005).

Professionalism in teaching is unseen as teachers are relatively paid less than the other professions and have fewer chances to increase their income through career ladders or bonus on performance. They are not recognized from the public as the professionals with prestige Christopher K. Shon (2006). A lack of professionalism is indicative of administrative incompetency follows in breach of rules. If a teacher fails to meet the set standards, it shows unprofessionalism Lacy Nichols. Teaching profession in Pakistan reviewed by Farha Naz (n.d) shows that it is by default or an additional source of income where male members start this profession as either they couldn't find any other job or for surplus income. Even though children should be enlightened and informed citizens of tomorrow or ignorant members of society depending on teacher knowledge, teacher education and most importantly teacher professionalism, there can't be expectation for students to learn with large number of less-educated, less-trained, low-paid and, most important, undervalued government primary school teachers in Pakistan Hoodbhoy and Shaikh (1998; 1997).

In particular, professionalism in teaching demands understanding of their personality dynamics in the latest concept like their developmental maturation process Hall; Masfield (1985).

Teaching learning process

Teaching learning are related terms. In this process, teacher, student, syllabus and other variables are structured in a systematic way to attain some preset goals. Teaching learning process is the spirit of education on which completion of aims and objectives of education is dependent. It brings desired change in students. In this process knowledge is transferred from the one who is giving (i.e. teacher) to the one who is receiving (student). Key elements of this process presented by Varron (2011) are teacher, learner and learning environment. Presence of all elements completes the process. Whereby, four aspects of teaching learning process given by Diana Laurillard (1993; 1994) includes discussion which takes place between teacher and learner, interaction among teacher and learner, adaptation of the world by teacher and action by learner and lastly reflection on learner's performance both by teacher and learner.

Figure: 1

Essential aspecTeacher's Conceptual Knowledge

Student Experimental Knowledge

Teacher's Constructed World

Student's Conceptual Knowledge

Reflection on Student

Adaptation of World

Adaptation of Action

Reflection of Interaction

ts of teaching - learning process



Effect of professionalism in teaching on teaching learning process

Teaching is not simply information or knowledge, but an expression of values and attitudes. Teachers usually get back from their students what they have brought to the teaching-learning process in analysis of Dimitrios Thanasoulas (n.d.).

Professionalism in teaching is seen when teacher and teaching are effective. According to Ogwezi and Wolomsky (1985) teacher improves conditions for effective learning by helping students to become aware of their problem areas in learning process, establishing self confidence, exploring new interests, increasing understanding and using concrete materials to support teaching.

Positive attitude identifies professionalism in teaching also justified by Elona Hartjes that Professionalism in teaching comes with positive attitude which results in desired classroom environment, making teaching smooth and optimistic outcome of students' learning. Kevin Ryan, PH. and James Michael Cooper (2008) put forward four categories of attitudes affecting teaching. Those are teacher's attitude toward self, towards children and relationship between self and children, attitude towards peers and pupil's parents and at the end the teacher's attitude towards the subject matter.

As per research by American Council students are affected by a teacher's attitude therefore, focus of teachers' should be on their attitude about content as much as the content itself. Also, the study conducted by Kampala International University Western Campus in Bushenyi-Ishaka, Uganda shows that students show more interest and commitment towards learning only if teacher is knowledgeable and have hold in subject content. However, uninterested teachers will fail to create interest in students.

The District Director of Education in charge of the Talensi-Nabdam District in the Upper East Region observed that teachers can either positive or negative attitude which accordingly impact teaching and student's behavior and learning. He cited consistent drunkenness, smoking, sexual misbehavior, offensive dressing, stimulating children to engage in strikes and demonstrations as some negative attitude influenced by undesired attitude of teachers, he further noted that its consequences can effect students severely in all manners and also indicated that some teachers don't concentrate on teaching as they take it as transact business showing unprofessionalism Francis Ayaaba (2010).

According to Lannie, Amanda L., & McCurdy, Barry L. (2007) effect of professionalism in teaching on teaching learning process can be validated by the result of study shown in Education & Treatment of Children, 30 (1). Retrieved July 19, 2009 that disruptive behavior was decreased and on-task behavior was increased after the implementation of game called good behavior game in which teacher described student's what behaviors are acceptable and not acceptable and for some period of time asked to keep tally of inappropriate behavior and lowest tally marker will win. In a few words, students will have less time to misbehave when teacher keeps students engaged in class participation which will definitely heighten their confidence Helen Van (n.d.).

Need and techniques to enhance professional attitude for desired teaching learning

To avoid teachers from representing unprofessional behaviors in classroom, trainings in areas of teacher preliminary programs, embedding personality development and ethics in work programs are required. As well as better mentoring programs are needed for new school teachers and improved evaluation and accountability systems to ensure teachers are behaving efficiently. Moreover, survey should be conducted by schools to gather students' and their parents' opinions about their teachers for the sake of finding out important information and areas for improvement for teachers. Plus, remuneration systems should also be in place to reward caring, competent, and professional teachers. Measures should be taken by keeping in mind that students' learning experiences in schools impact their whole. Therefore, it is believed that teachers and school leaders have the responsibility to ensure a positive and productive learning environment and learning experience for our students.

According to Elenora Villegas Reimers (2003) professional development, a lifelong process is also a way to enhance professional attitude which starts from initial preparation that teachers receive till the retirement. Aside from individual satisfaction or financial gain professional growth impacts teachers' beliefs and practices, students' learning and implementation of educational reforms. Keeping in mind teachers are gateway to student learning and school improvement, investment on teachers should be made considerably and systematically as pointed by Patrick R. Richarads (n.d). Likely, Jean-Louis Auduc (n.d) addresses the reason for teachers to be trained. He says that they should be trained to face up to unpredictable situations and learn to listen to students. Teachers are expected to use the best practices and strategies to meet challenging demands of their career. Similarly, trained and highly motivated teachers boost students learning cites Shaukat Hussain (2004).

Smith (1995) stated that teachers and teaching need to be creative to in order to allow natural learning in students. He also prescribed that educational institutions should spend more time on doing and less time on talking about learning and teaching. In addition, Gurney (2007) recommended that instead of reflecting on theory and practice, reflection should be on what is done in classroom. A good attitude and a sense of professionalism in the teaching can have a positive effect on teaching-learning process in view of Arnold Anderson. Joe Paterno (1999) says the mark of a true professional is to perform at a consistently higher level than others and professionalism has nothing to do with getting paid for your services.

Good teachers form the foundation of reputable schools, the most important investments of time and money that leaders of country should make in education is improving teachers' skills and knowledge. Hogben & Petty (1979) stated that the basic concern of the teachers' training programs is to have the desirable changes in the teacher's attitude towards their students as well teaching and on his studies it was proved that professional development program showed positive impact on teacher's attitude leading to success in teaching and learning.

Marklund and Gran (1994) describes strategies for developing positive attitude teaching should comprise of lecture involving discussion, having personal contact to clear doubts, and conduct group discussions. Jamie M. Kinser also suggested ways to enhance professional attitude by stating that Incorporate patience into your attitude, be courteous and savvy while treating students and colleagues as it will line foster a better work environment, establish clearly defined goals, make accountability a priority and bring positive attitude As a result those teachers who participated in the student learning workshop posed complex questions to students, paid attention to problem solving process, and motivated them to look for different methods of finding answers, by contrast, those teachers who were not in the workshop emphasized recalling of basic facts, receiving quick answers, and avoided group work. In another study of Paul Cobb (1991) opportunities were provided for teachers to examine new curriculum materials, solve mathematics problems to be taught and study student learning and as an end result students did better on conceptual understanding and maintained their basic computational skills. Contrary, in reading, Deborah McCutchen (2002) shares that those students scored best on test of word reading, spelling and comprehension who were taught by teacher who received professional development training with compared to those whose teachers had no addition training.

Leo Babuata (2008) suggests that squashing negative thoughts, mantras, seeing good in yourself, in others, and in any situation, enjoying small pleasures, positive imaging and anticipating fun will help teacher stay happier, successful and in continuing teaching rather than giving up.

As discovered by Rudina Xhaferri and Khalid Iqbal no education revolution can be successful without first enhancing the quality of teachers. Programs such as the National Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (NACTE), an autonomous body established by the HEC to accredit all teacher education programs offered in the public and private sector institutions in the country, and Pre-Step training for progress in quality of basic education are initial encouraging steps taken in Pakistan towards progress in students learning. The teachers training institutes unfortunately aren't functioning effectively. Reimers (2003) reported factors for low quality performance which includes unmotivated faculty and students, lack of supervision and inactive Deans which don't meet educational need.

In institutions of Pakistan there is dire need to pay full attention to acquire knowledge through course book, lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences and also to acquire expertise in the related field. Professional development gives great care towards the skills, knowledge, and attitude Misbah Muzaffar (2012). Farha Naz mentions in her study that the need of teachers' professional development has been accepted importantly for upgrading of education all over the world. Therefore, the expectation for quality in teacher education is increasing every day. For improvement of entire education system in Pakistan, teacher education is considered as keystone. But unfortunately the traditional methods of teacher training are not serving the requirement and present programs failed in preparing teachers required in a real classroom as the stress is on theory rather than practical.

Desimon et, al. (2002) concluded that professional development programs have positive impact on teachers for enhancing their working capabilities and teaching practices. Whereby, Collings (1994) stated that a teacher should be in constant training-learning process, and have capability to mirror view individual performance. In statement of Stronge et al. (2004) teachers can learn new strategies to be applied with help of effective implementation to staff development. Through professional training and development teachers can begin to understand and appreciate the important role they play in students' lives Meher Rizvi (2000).