Conceptualizing and Researching the Professionalization of Religious Education Teachers: Historical and International Perspectives
British Journal of Religious Education
Taylor & Francis
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
Reason for embargo
Current discussions on Religious Education (RE), both in Germany and England, focus on the quality of teaching and the professionality of teachers, but neglect the historical and institutional process of professionalization upon which conceptions of teaching quality and teacher professionality hinge. This article seeks to provide definitional clarity by differentiating between individual and collective professionalization; exploring teacher professionalization in general and in the special case of RE; and operationalizing the concept of RE teacher professionalization for the purposes of planned historical and international comparative research. A three-fold conceptualization of professionalization is proposed, consisting of the following inter-related levels: (1) initial and continuing professional development; (2) professional self-organization and professional politics; and (3) professional knowledge. The breadth, complexity and significance of the historical and institutional processes associated with the professionalization of RE teachers at each of these levels is described and discussed. It is argued that further historical and international comparative research on these lines would contribute a broader and deeper understanding of the presuppositions of RE teacher professionality beyond current debates.
Westhill Endowment Trust
Vol 38, No. 2, pp. 114-129