Is Teaching A Discipline? Implications for Teaching and Teacher Education

Apr. 28, 2009

Source: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Volume 15 Issue 2, April 2009 , pages 189 – 203.

The background to this article is based on the ongoing need to place more attention on the importance of teaching. The purpose of this article is to lead to a better valuing of teaching through an exploration of the notion of teaching as a discipline. There are differing views regarding what constitutes a discipline. Furthermore, considering teaching as a discipline is a provocative way of focusing on the complex nature of that work in order to make clear that teaching is much more than 'simply doing.' Through a review of the diversity of views of disciplines - and education as a discipline - as described in the literature, the article considers the consequences of conceptualizing teaching as a discipline. These consequences are
significant not only for teaching itself but also for teacher education.

The article concludes that if teaching is to be considered a discipline, then teacher education itself needs to be understood and practiced as a much more scholarly activity. This article works through some of the arguments that arise as a consequence of thinking about teaching as a discipline.
It also challenges the teaching and teacher education communities to conceptualize their work in ways that will engender a great sense of valuing of that work.

Updated: Jul. 15, 2009