'Bound by Recognition' : Some Thoughts on Professional Designation for Teachers

Nov. 10, 2010

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 317 – 329. (November, 2010).

In this article, the author describes the efforts of some Canadian jurisdictions to call for a professional designation for teachers. The author emphasizes the difference between teacher certification and professional designation. The author claims that while teacher certification or licensure seeks to protect public interest and is concerned about professionalism - the quality of teachers' work - professional designation is concerned with public recognition of teachers' professional status, that is, acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the intellectual and ethical location from which teachers act - teachers' identities.

In addition, The author wants to reveal a certain predicament that results when the teaching profession becomes 'bound by recognition' (Markell, 2003).
The predicament relates to the limits of identity: in the context of recognitive encounters with others, human beings constantly exceed and frustrate prior identifications, often contradicting their own expressed and deepest commitments.
What then, one may ask, is the use value of recognition for the profession?

Patchen Markell, Bound by Recognition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003).

Updated: Mar. 24, 2011